Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Visit Raja Petra for Raya

Fancy making a trip to Kamunting to convey Raya greetings?

Bukit Bendera Parlimentary Liaison Committee along with several Penang-based civil society activists, are planning a drive to the Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping on the second day of Raya to convey their greetings to the ISA detainees:

Flowers, cards and gifts, if any, will be passed on to Raja Petra and the other ISA detainees to let them know that they are not forgotten on this special day. RPK's wife Marina has been informed of the event and she will be there to join us. The Press will also be invited for this event.
Date: Thursday, 2 October 2008

Meeting Places: 
(1) DAP Bukit Bendera Service Centre, Wayton Court, Penang (9.00am)
(2) Tesco, Penang (9.15am)

Dress code: Black
We shall begin our journey latest by 9.30am and arrive at the Kamunting Detention Centre by 11.00am latest. Here, we shall link up with those from other places like Taiping and and other parts of Perak. 

Those interested, please register or inform our committee member Mr Ronnie Tan at 012-4277883 

For those folks that are coming from KL, Mr. Sunil had volunteered to coordinate / assist in whatever way he can.  He can be contacted @ 012-2537206

I will not be able to make this trip, but I'll be planning another to Kamunting soon enough. Have a good trip!

New US$1 Note

Will get back into the rhythm of writing soon. 

In the meantime, our new finance minister tries his best to convince the markets that our economy is sound and unaffected by the global economic turbulence.

The big question is, how much are our hard earned cash from EPF, Khazanah and other government investment vehicles going into the stock market at this point of time to support the Bursa index?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Making It Big

Thanks to a friend who forwarded me this blog post, I now know who Adam Khoo is. He actually wrote this post actually a full 2 years back, but I certainly thought that it's will remain extremely relevant particularly to those who seek to build a business or are in the midst of building one.

Adam Khoo is a self-made millionaire in Singapore by the age of 26, and is now "the Executive Chairman and Chief Master Trainer of Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group Pte Ltd and a director of seven other private companies. Adam is also a director of the Singapore Health Promotion Board (HPB)." His latest post is with regards to "why he loves stock market crashes" which is certainly something useful to ponder over. I certainly believe that over one's lifetime, you just need 3 stock market crashes to make it big in terms of wealth - while at the same time not let greed blind you.

But this post isn't about the stock market. It's about "making it big", like Adam Khoo. He wrote that...
...recently, someone came up to me on a plane to KL and looked rather shocked. He asked, ‘How come a millionaire like you is travelling economy?’ My reply was, ‘That’s why I am a millionaire.’ He still looked pretty confused. This again confirms that greatest lie ever told about wealth (which I wrote about in my latest book ‘Secrets of Self Made Millionaires’). Many people have been brainwashed to think that millionaires have to wear Gucci, Hugo Boss, Rolex etc… (I shop at G2000 by the way) and sit on first class in air travel. This is why so many people never become rich because the moment that earn more money, they think that it is only natural that they spend more, putting them back to square one.

...I refuse to buy a first class ticket or to buy a $300 shirt because I think that it is a complete waste of money.

Does that then make him a miserly miser? ‘What is the point in making so much money if you don’t enjoy it?’
The thing is that I don’t really find happiness in buying branded clothes, jewelry or sitting first class. Even if buying something makes me happy it is only for a while… it does not last. material happiness never lasts, it just give you a quick fix...

Instead, what make ME happy is when I see my children laughing and playing and learning so fast. What makes me happy is when I see by companies and trainers reaching more and more people every year in so many more countries...

I think the point I want to put across is that happiness must come from doing your life’s work (be in teaching, building homes, designing, trading, winning tournaments etc…) and the money that comes is only a by-product. If you hate what you are doing and rely on the money you earn to make you happy by buying stuff, then I think that you are living a life no better than a prostitute.
His philosophy certainly resonates with me, and although I never made it as big or as fast as he obviously did, I share most if not all of his views on the post. And clearly, you don't have to be the Penang Chief Minister to fly economy. (This is however, not a plug for Adam Khoo's books and training - make your own informed decisions on that one ;-))

So for you young people out there with dreams of a bright (and well to do) future, remember to take a leaf of Adam Khoo. ;-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Away in Beijing

I'm will be in Beijing til the weekend, mostly on holiday with the family with some investment meetings thrown in on the side. So I won't be as active blogging this week ;-)

And gentle reminder to all golf enthusiasts, the DAP Damansara-Subang Jaya inaugural golf tournament will be held on 28th September, this Sunday at 1pm at Kinrara Golf Club. Please send in your forms soon!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Forum: Abolish ISA!

Free RPK, Free Hindraf 5, Free All Detainees!

The Internal Security Act under Article 149 of the Malaysian Constitution permits the detention, at the discretion of the Home Minister, without charge or trial of any person in respect of whom the Home Minister was satisfied that such detention was necessary.

A week ago, we have witnessed yet again, the abuse of the ISA in the case of the detention of Raja Petra Kamarudin – Editor of Malaysia Today, Tan Hoon Cheng - Journalist, Sin Chew Jit Poh and Teresa Kok Suh Sim - Member of Parliament, Seputeh.

To demonstrate stand on the abolishment of the ISA and to show our solidarity and support with all ISA detainees and their families, we are organising a forum with invited speakers with details as follows:
Date: 23 Sep 2008 (Tue)
Time: 8:00 pm
Venue: KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Jln Maharajalela, Kuala Lumpur
Admission is Free; Bring Friends
The panel of Distinguished Speakers include:
  • Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister, DAP MP Bagan, ADUN Air Itam
  • Teresa Kok, Selangor State Exco, DAP MP Seputeh/ADUN Kinrara
  • A. Sivanesan, Perak State Exco, DAP ADUN Sungkai
  • Khalid Samad, PAS MP Shah Alam
  • Nurul Izzah binti Anwar, PKR MP Lembah Pantai
  • Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, Bar Council President
  • Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, Chairman of Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI)
Moderator: Teo Nie Ching, DAP MP Serdang
The wives of some of the current ISA detainees, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, M Manoharan (DAP ADUN Kota Alam Shah) and V Ganabathirao will be present and be given an opportunity to speak. We should all be there to give the all the moral support we can! Forward to all your friends!

Abolish ISA or Abolish BN!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Teresa Hits The Ground Running

Modelling "Free Teresa, Abolish ISA!" Limited Edition T-Shirts ;-)

She didn't waste too much time on pleasantries. Neither did she spend any time moping about her 7 days under solitary confinement. She went straight on the offensive - challenging the Government to provide a satisfactory explanation for her detention, taking actions to sue Dr Mohd Khir Toyo and Utusan Malaysia for criminal defamation and against the Federal Government for unlawful detention. Already, she's booked for 3 engagements this evening, and it's only going to get even more (thanks to Barisan Nasional).

Utusan Malaysia had the cheek to ask if Teresa Kok will be willing to take the lie detector test. They have forgotten that the onus of proof lies not with the victim but with the accuser, and in this case, it should be ask if Zaini Hussain of Utusan Malaysia and Dr Mohd Khir Toyo are the ones willing to take the lie detector test to prove their claims! (In fact I won't be surprised if the malicious Utusan Malaysia headlines tomorrow says "Teresa Enggan Mengambil Ujian Kesan Pembohongan".)

In the mean time, we celebrate Teresa's release from ISA detention. But the fight will go on to abolish ISA, and ensure that all other detainees including Raja Petra, Hindraf 5 will get released immediately.

There will be an anti-ISA forum on Tuesday (23/9) evening 8pm @ KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall. Speakers include Lim Guan Eng, Teresa Kok, Khalid Samad (PAS), Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR), Ambiga Sreenevasan (Bar Council), Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (GMI) and A Sivanesan. More details soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Living It Up

courtesy of thenutgraph.com

Hey, an article I wrote for The Nut Graph finally got published! ;-)

I was told to be more personal in approach, so my first article "Living It Up" took a snapshot of my typical weekend nowadays, sometimes better, sometimes worse.

After reading the post, "you would understand the absolute need to be disciplined when it comes to the number of appointments I accept; otherwise, it would never end. Not only would my role as an MP be compromised by insufficient research and attention — I also wouldn’t get to spend precious moments with my family, who are my pillars of support.

And the discipline must be kept regardless of how demanding certain voters may be to secure “face time”. It has barely been six months since the general election, yet already there are those who complain they haven’t seen me around. There are more than 76,000 voters in my constituency, and if all of them expect me to go around meeting people with the same frequency as I did during the campaign period, it would certainly defeat the purpose of electing an MP in the first place.

It’s a case of working hard and working smart, to ensure that I can make a real impact in the constituency as an MP."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Najib's New Toy

Wow, our Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has launched a spanking new website, "1Malaysia" with videos, picture galleries and all.

He asked for "rational dialogue to discuss the things that matter deeply to us as a nation... While I may not always agree with you, be assured that your views will be heard."

He also added that "What makes Malaysia unique is the diversity of our people ... and I want to preserve this diversity and unity."

So what do you think? Well, don't just think, tell it to him yourself! His website has a comment page for you to fill in all your "rational dialogues". You have signed the petition for Teresa Kok, Raja Petra, the Hindraf 5 and all the other ISA detainees. Now, go to our honourable deputy prime minister's website comment page and give him a piece of your mind.

There are nearly 24,000 signatories on the petition to date (thank you all for the support! keep them coming!) and if 50% of these signatories post their comments on his website, he might just get the message. It is extremely important for our current Barisan Nasional leaders to really "hear" the rakyat, that we are pissed with BN, that we have become the laughing stock of the world, that Pak Lah administration is in complete shambles, that his economic policies are condemning us to mediocrity (or worse), that many of our Ministers are a joke.

I've received many emails asking what you can do. You can do this. But remember, be "rational", we do not need to go overboard to win the argument. We let the facts speak for itself. And remember, the IPs are likely tracked so please, no seditious stuff, we will not go to Datuk Ahmad Ismail or Penang UMNO's level.

And better still, get 10 other friends and family members to do the same!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Candlelight Vigil for Teresa & Other ISA Detainees in PJ

DAP Petaling Jaya will be holding a candlelight vigil for Teresa Kok as well as all other ISA Detainees this evening. This is part of a nationwide effort by all DAP offices throughout the country to seek the release of all ISA detainees as well as the abolition of the draconian Act.

We'd like to call upon the public, regardless of political affiliation to join us for the candlelight vigil, to show that we abhor such cruel and undemocratic laws being practiced in Malaysia.
Date: 16 Sep 2008 (Tue)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: DAP Selangor HQ, 77 Jalan 20/9, Tmn Paramount, 47300 Petaling Jaya
As traffic may be heavy, space is limited, please park your car a distance away and walk in to join us. Please bring your friend and forward this message.

See you this evening!

More on 'Azan' Controversy

Don't forget to sign the petition to "Free Teresa, Abolish ISA!"

More clarifications of the issue of "azan" in the recent controversy involving the arrest of Teresa Kok under the draconian Internal Security Act. Read here on a comment piece by Abdar Rahman Koya on Malaysiakini with regards to "Deciphering the Muslim call to prayer".

The following is a statement by M Zulkarnain Hamzah, who is a Good Governance and Social Justice Committee Member of Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM). ( JIM also issued a statement against the use of ISA, blogged here).

Shedding light on the 'azan' controversy
M Zulkarnain Hamzah

"By now most groups with leaning towards racial sentiments would realize that Teresa Kok has been wrongfully alleged to send petition to ban azan. But then some people would still accuse her of being seditious in supporting the Puchong resident’s plea for the mosque near them to lower the volume of religious speeches and Quranic recitations.

Some are ignorant enough sadly, and jumped to conclusion that Teresa’s action is seditious and provocative. But Muslims with true understanding of Islam will definitely support the motion by the non-Muslims. It is not Islamic at all to force other people, Muslims and Non-Muslims alike, to hear Quranic recitation or any other religious sermons.

PPIM secretary-general Dr Ma’amor Osman’s statement that religious lectures are as part of ‘syiar’ Islam which he deemed as sacred as the call for prayer, and that there is no difference between azan and religious lectures give a totally wrong impression to the non-Muslims that Islam forces its teachings upon the people whether they like it or not, when the Quran clearly and loudly says that there is no compulsion in Islam.

Allah in Al-Quran said that those who hear the recitation of Quran must be quiet and pay heed to the recitation.

" And when the Quran is recited, give ear to it and pay heed, that ye may obtain mercy." (Al-Quran - Al-A`raf: 204)

Some Muslims are insensitive and let the verses of the Holy Book be carelessly heard indiscriminately throughout the entire housing areas without thinking whether the surrounding residents are in their optimum shape to listen the holy verses in the first place. It is even wrong for the words of God to be forced upon the Muslim community whose members might be sleeping or performing their daily chores, what more the Non-Muslims. How about young parents with babies whose sleep was abruptly cut short during the wee hours? Is there any compassion and understanding left for PPIM and other Malay-based NGOs to put such blanket ruling indiscriminately?

Just like Muslims do not like the nuisance coming from the smoke and ashes of the incense and worship papers of their non-Muslim neighbors, the non-Muslims too do not like to have long recitations and loud speeches alien to their understandings to breach into their airspace done by ignorant mosque administrators.

The Perlis Mufti in his past lectures have highlighted issues with the common practices of certain mosques in this country which have been causing nuisance to the Muslim communities themselves through indiscriminate playing of Quranic recitations during the wee hours, but the state religious authorities (except Perlis) never pay heed to his advice.

Playing the Quranic recitations and religious speeches out loud indiscriminately to others without prior consultation is an act of utter disrespect to the sanctity of the Holy Quran, and to the true teaching of Islam which forbids compulsion in propagating faith.

Islam stands firm on clear-cut evidences found in the Quran and the Prophetic Traditions, and it demands its followers to substantiate their standpoints in a very wise and respectful manner, not whimsical sentiments filled with false sense of ‘religious’ pride. For that, there is absolutely no reason why ISA or any other law should be used to silent critiques which only certain quarters perceive as threatening to Muslim sensitivities.

Full official statement of condemnation of ISA detention for Teresa and RPK can be found at here."

One Helluva "Free Teresa" Day...

Don't forget to sign the petition to "Free Teresa, Abolish ISA!"

"You light up my life" - Candlelight vigil @ Seputeh last night
(Picture courtesy of Ju Lian)

Plenty to write about but no time to blog.

Have been running around a little like a mad dog - meet local hawkers for breakfast, press conference at Parliament @ 11am on parliamentary caucus to "Free Teresa", filing of Teresa's habeas corpus application at the Jalan Duta Courts @ 12.30pm followed by accompanying Teresa's parents to Bukit Aman for their visit.

That was followed by a press interview on the Budget 2009, a meeting on plans of setting up a special party secretariat and dinner with the family. Then it was off to the candlelight vigil for Teresa Kok at her Kinrara service centre, where I spoke for 15 minutes - asking all BN ordinary members to send in their resignation letters to protest the ISA in disgust - before heading to the Kelana Jaya stadium Malaysia Day celebrations.

No, that wasn't the end, I had to drop in at the tail end of a dinner held by some party supporters before sending home my assistant and reaching home just about midnight. Need to take my shower now and have a good night's rest before starting over again. Thankfully, my trip to Penang tomorrow has been cancelled.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Statement by JIM on ISA

Free Teresa, Abolish ISA! Sign the petition here!

The following is a statement by Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) which is one of the country's leading Islamic movement.
Pertubuhan Jamaah Islah Malaysia atau JIM, mengasaskan kewujudannya dengan menghayati pengertian al-islah yang membawa maksud pembaikan, pembaharuan serta mewujudkan perdamaian.
They have just released a statement which not only condemned the use of the Internal Security Act as unislamic, but also reaffirmed the position that Teresa Kok was never involved in the so-called "azan" issues in Kota Damansara and Kinrara mosques.

Pertubuhan Jamaah Islah Malaysia
14 September 2008


Pertubuhan Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM) mengecam undang-undang tanpa bicara seperti Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) dan penggunaannya ke atas Ahli Parlimen Seputeh yang juga Ahli Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan Negeri Selangor, Teresa Kok, wartawan akhbar Sin Chew Daily Tan Hoon Cheng dan pengendali laman blog Raja Petra Kamaruddin.

JIM ingin menegaskan bahawa prinsip keadilan amatlah penting dalam perundangan. ISA menyalahi prinsip keadilan kerana mereka yang ditahan dinafikan hak untuk “tidak bersalah sehingga disabitkan kesalahannya”, dinafikan hak bela diri, dinafikan khidmat guaman dan boleh ditahan selama-lamanya tanpa dihadapkan ke mahkamah.

Walaupun wartawan Tan Hoon Cheng kemudiannya telah dibebaskan selepas 16 jam ditahan, namun JIM mempersoalkan penahanan tersebut atas kononnya untuk melindungi beliau daripada ancaman ke atas keselamatan beliau. Ini menurut Menteri Dalam Negeri, Syed Hamid Albar dalam sidang akhbar di Ibupejabat Polis Bukit Aman pada 13 September 2008. Bukankah suatu yang amat pelik apabila seseorang ditahan di bawah ISA untuk menyelamatkan beliau daripada ancaman keselamatan sedangkan lazimnya seseorang ditahan kerana beliau dituduh memudaratkan keselamatan negara?

Apakah dengan ini wartawan tersebut perlu berterima kasih kepada Kerajaan atau sepatutnya menyaman Kerajaan kerana merampas hak kebebasan beliau sebagai warganegara dengan alasan yang tidak munasabah langsung?

Perbuatan menuduh tanpa sebarang bukti adalah perbuatan yang haram dari sudut Syariah, kerana ianya sendiri merupakan sebab utama kepada keadaan huru-hara di kalangan masayarakat yang hilangnya kepercayaan antara satu sama lain.

Firman Allah s.w.t. dalam surah Al-Hujurat ayat 6, penyebaran perkhabaran dan maklumat yang tidak sahih lagi meragukan menyebabkan berlakunya pertimbangan yang tidak adil, lantaran mengundang kepada musibah fitnah yang melanda masyarakat.

Riwayat hadith Ibnu Majah dan Abu Dawud menyebutkan bahawa kadi yang menetapkan hukuman kepada seseorang bedasarkan sumber-sumber bukti yang tidak benar akan dicampakkan ke dalam api neraka sewajarnya cukup menjadi pengajaran bagi kerajaan untuk mengutamakan prinsip keadilan Islam yang rasional berbanding dengan sentimen-sentimen perkauman yang rapuh dalam menjaga kemaslahatan masyarakat.

JIM mengesyorkan mana-mana pihak yang terkesan dengan sebaran awam yang dianggap menghina Islam supaya tampil proaktif dalam memberikan penjelasan yang bernas terhadap isu-isu yang dibahaskan. Islam tertegak di atas nas dan dalil Al-Quran dan Sunnah yang jelas. Tuntutan untuk mengemukakan hujah-hujah Islam secara berhikmah dan beradab sudah termaktub di dalam riwayat hadith-hadith yang sahih.

JIM memandang penahanan wartawan Tan Hoon Cheng seolah-olah beliau bertanggungjawab ke atas kontroversi kenyataan perkauman Ahmad Ismail sebagai tidak wajar kerana Ahmad Ismail dan pengikut beliau sendiri yang sengaja memberikan provokasi perkauman tanpa sebarang kawalan emosi di hadapan wartawan-wartawan.

Penahanan Ahli Parlimen Seputeh, Teresa Kok pula merupakan satu ketidakadilan kerana dakwaan bekas Menteri Besar Selangor keatasnya telah dinafikan sekeras-kerasnya. Malah, masjid di Damansara yang dikatakan disuruh perlahankan bunyi azannya telah memberi penjelasan bahawa azan tidak berbunyi dengan kuat kerana alat pembesar suara azannya mengalami kesulitan teknikal, bukannya kerana ditentang penduduk bukan Islam.

Penduduk bukan Islam di kawasan perumahan sekitar sebuah masjid di Puchong pula dilaporkan hanya memohon supaya diperlahankan penggunaan pembesar suara untuk majlis kuliah bacaan ayat al-Quran, bukannya azan itu sendiri.

JIM berpendirian jelas bahawa apa juga alasan yang dinyatakan kerajaan atas episod penahanan terbaru ini samada sebagai “pencetus polemik ketakutan” atau “pencetus kegawatan”, ianya seharusnya boleh ditangani dengan pelbagai akta lain yang sedia ada.

Tindakan menggertak dan menangkap blogger, wartawan, para pengkritik dasar kerajaan khususnya dari kalangan parti pembangkang tanpa hujah yang konkrit hanya akan mengundang kemusykilan rakyat terhadap motif dan keikhlasan kerajaan dalam melaksanakan perubahan pasca Pilihan raya Umum ke-12 terutamanya dalam konteks lanskap politik negara kini. Tindakan ini hanyalah mengesahkan lagi bahwa ISA digunakan untuk tujuan politik parti pemerintah.

JIM amat kesal dengan tindakan parti politik pemerintah yang sanggup memainkan isu sensitif seperti perkauman dan agama demi untuk menutup pelbagai kelemahan kepimpinan sedia ada. Sebaliknya, adalah lebih baik pihak kerajaan berusaha menyelesaikan pelbagai kemelut yang terjadi di dalam negara sekarang ini tanpa menggadaikan suasana keamanan yang sedia ada. Hentikan politik perkauman, fitnah dan tuduh menuduh tanpa bukti lagi tanpa bicara dan kembalilah kepada Syariat Islam.

JIM menggesa Kerajaan untuk membebaskan Teresa Kok, Raja Petra dan tahanan-tahanan ISA yang lain dengan serta merta atau dakwa mereka di mahkamah. Nasib tahanan yang ditahan dalam tempoh yang lama sehingga 7 tahun juga perlu dibela.

Sebagai anggota aktif gabungan Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI), JIM menyeru rakyat yang prihatin untuk turut tampil membantah ISA dan penahanan berhubungnya melalui program-program yang dianjurkan oleh GMI. Dalam tuntutan keadilan dan kebenaran, tidak ada batasan agama, kaum atau budaya.

Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh
Timbalan Presiden

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Free Teresa, Abolish ISA!

Sign the Petition to Free Teresa, Abolish ISA! Forward this petition to all Malaysians via email, SMS, blogs or Facebook.

The Barisan Nasional Government has on the 12 September detained Member of Parliament for Seputeh, state assemblywoman for Kinrara as well the senior state executive councillor for Selangor, Sdri Teresa Kok without trial under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).

She has been accused of stirring up racial sentiments by instigating residents to petition against mosques in Kinrara and Kota Damansara to lower the volume of their speakers. Teresa denied these allegations and both mosques have also come out to deny these accusations. There is hence absolutely no basis for the arrest. She has already threatened to sue Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, the former Selangor Menteri Besar and Utusan Malaysia for making and publishing these unfounded allegations.

The arrest of Sdri Teresa Kok,Raja Petra Kamaruddin, the Hindraf 5 as well as others is hence arbitrary, high-handed and a mockery of democracy. By labelling Teresa and others as threats to national security without any shred of evidence is a travesty of justice and a gross violation of human rights.

The petitioners hence resolves that the BN government should not use draconian powers under the ISA to cling on to power and demands the immediate and unconditional release of Teresa, Raja Petra, the Hindraf 5 and other detainees. In addition, we the petitioners demand the immediate repeal of the ISA to prevent abuses that oppresses the fundamental liberties of each and every Malaysian.

As loyal and upright Malaysians, sign the petition today!

Tell Me The Truth!

Thanks to whatalulu for reminding me of what our dearest Prime Minister, or more affectionately known as Pak Lah said (and reported in The Star) just less than 2 weeks ago!
The media must not be afraid of honest reporting while upholding truth and justice, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said the media should also not feel apologetic when reporting the facts.
Yes, and your reward under his adminstration will be a stint in Kamunting. What a [fill in your own expletives here] liar and hypocrite.

BN Lost The Plot

(Update: This post was written before Teresa Kok, DAP National Organising Secretary, MP for Seputeh, ADUN for Kinrara as well as Senior State Exco for Selangor was arrested. Bloody hell)

The DAP is completely shocked by the total abuse of power by the Barisan Nasional Government in arresting Tan Hoon Cheng, a reporter with Sin Chew Daily who reported the statement by UMNO Bukit Bendera division chief, Datuk Ahmad Ismail who called the local Chinese as “penumpang” in Malaysia.

The Barisan Nasional government has completely lost the plot for she only reported the factual truth that is what Datuk Ahmad Ismail said, nothing more and nothing less. But arresting Tan, the Government only seeks to punish those who are truthful, instead of those who has committed the crime of inciting racial hatred.

This sinister development which follows closely after the arrest of popular blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin is a clear cut attempt to silence both the mainstream and the online media from reporting what is fair and true, which is against the vested interest of Barisan Nasional.

With the latest development, we want to reach out across the political divide to our political opponents in MCA, Gerakan and MIC, parties who have expressed dissatisfaction with the UMNO leaders who have expressed statements which incites racial sentiments.

Will MCA, Gerakan and MIC demonstrate to the people that after the punishment they received in the hands of the rakyat in the last general elections, they have understood the sentiments of the people and the need for drastic reforms.

A government which will go to the extent of abusing its powers detaining a simple reporter has lost all moral authority to rule the nation.

There can be no better time now to stand up for the truth, justice and integrity, and take immediate actions to demonstrate disgust with the actions of the police and the Government.

For the general public out there, please visit, call, sms and write to the MCA, Gerakan and MIC MPs and ADUNs to speak up for the innocent and do what is right for this country of ours which we love so much! Or they shall be damned forever politically for supporting a corrupt and oppressive Barisan Nasional government.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Release Raja Petra NOW!

The DAP strongly and unreservedly condemns the undemocratic and draconian measure by the Barisan Nasional Government of utilising the Internal Security Act (ISA) to detain popular blogger, Raja Petra Kamaruddin for his vocal criticisms against the Government.

We demand for his immediate and unconditional release from detention under ISA. This demand includes the immediate and unconditional release of other political prisoners, detained without trial for their anti-Barisan Nasional views such as the Hindraf 5 who were arrested in December last year.

If Raja Petra has committed any wrongs under Malaysian laws, the Barisan Nasional government should charge Raja Petra accordingly in open court. Under our laws, a man is innocent until proven guilty.

The reluctance of the federal government is pursuing the matter in open court reflect its ill-intent to protect dark vested interests. This move to utilise the ISA against a blogger who has not demonstrated any violent “terrorist” tendencies marks a clear cut abuse of power by the Prime Minister and his Home Affairs Minister.

This signals a growing desperation among Barisan Nasional politicians, and more sinisterly, a possible start in draconian crackdown against all BN critics in this country.

The Government's move will only strengthen the resolve of DAP and its Pakatan Rakyat partners as well as the Malaysian public that a change in Government is not only preferable, it is absolutely necessary to ensure that Malaysia will have a bright future ahead.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ahmad "Malay Audience Only" Ismail

Backed to the hilt by the entire Penang UMNO, Ahmad "penumpang" Ismail remains completely defiant despite being summoned to meet the Prime "flip-flop" Minister and his Deputy today. While we (cannot) wait for the (non)decision of the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council later this afternoon, which of course is subjected to UMNO Supreme Council endorsement (or rejection) tomorrow.

However, the following quote caught my eye in his post-meeting comments on Malaysiakini:
...he said: "The prime minister gave his views but he acknowledged what I did was for the party. Moreover, I want to remind (everyone) that my speech was delivered to a Malay audience."
Firstly, Pak Lah "acknowledged" that what Datuk Ahmad Ismail did was for UMNO. Seriously?

But secondly, and more importantly, his "speech was delivered to a Malay audience".

Is that an excuse? No wonder he was upset with the SinChew reporter because whatever racist statements made weren't meant to be heard by non-Malays! They were meant for Malay audience only!

Barisan Nasional divide and rule by race politics at its very best ;-)

DAP Inaugural Golf Tournament

Well, DAP Damansara and Subang Jaya are holding the first ever golf tournament to be held by the party! It's being organised by Hannah Yeoh, ADUN for Subang Jaya and myself.

I personally used to golf a fair bit, until I joined DAP some 2 years ago and I've only had chance to hit the ball probably twice since. But I've always wanted to try holding such a tournament (since I joined the party) and we are finally seeing it happening.

The details are as follows:
Date: 28 Sep 2008 (Sun)
Time: 1.00 pm (shot gun)
Venue: Kinrara Golf Club
Entry fee is RM300 per pax. Closing date 25th Sept or up to 120 participants (1st come 1st served). There will be plenty of prizes for golfing and lucky draw winners, as well as items for auction. While the list of prizes have not been finalised, the top prizes will include air tickets to destinations overseas ;-)

Plus, if you are lucky (or unlucky) enough, we could be on the same flight ;-) Fees collected net of the cost of organisation, prizes and gifts will be used to fund the community service centres in Damansara Utama and Subang Jaya.

Please download the entry forms here.

Rules & regulations:
  • Payment can be via cash, cheque or credit card
  • Scoring for the tournament will be done on System 36 / Stableford format. All tallied results will be final and complaints will not be entertained.
  • Buffet dinner, prize presentation and auctions will be held at the clubhouse at 7.30pm hosted by MP for Petaling Jaya Utara, Tony Pua and ADUN for Subang Jaya, Hannah Yeoh.
Submission & Enquiries:
  • Please fax your entry forms to: (03) 7726 0443
  • For any further enquiries, please do not hesitate to call Ally Pua @ 016-2208867, Edward Yap @ 012-2088967 , Wilson Leong @ 012-6351313 or email : dappju@yahoo.com

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Gerakan & MCA: What Are You Waiting For?

I had speculated in my earlier post 3 days ago, 3 possible scenarios panning out of the Ahmad "penumpang" Ismail controversy. While option (1) i.e., Pak Lah gets woken up from his slumber was a non-starter, I had honestly thought that option (3) i.e., a partial compromise "apology" by Datuk Ahmad Ismail will be issued, especially in the light that the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has already issued an apology on his behalf. In fact, I think the majority of readers who commented thought option (3) was a good bet.

But no, despite picking option (3), I actually still had too much faith in Pak Lah!

Instead of Pak Lah giving this recalcitrant Datuk Ahmad Ismail a figurative "tight slap", the exact reverse happened! Datuk Ahmad Ismail, backed by the entire Penang UMNO divisions, including that of Pak Lah's constituency, Kepala Batas, gave the hapless Prime Minister 3 proverbial "tight slaps" instead!

The first tight slap was to the Prime Minister and his Deputy, for apologising and seeking Datuk Ahmad Ismail apology without the latter's consent. "A tense-looking" Pak Lah, came out of a 2-hour meeting with Penang UMNO, changed his tune to say "Ahmad Ismail is not a racist", and concurred that the latter had been "misquoted" or "misinterpreted".

The second tight slap to Pak Lah was targetted at the reporting media, Sinchew Daily for having the courage to report what he said. In effect, he was arguing that Sinchew had no business to be at a UMNO ceramah which was targetting Malay audience and what's discussed at the ceramah was of no relevance to the Chinese community. Hence the vernacular press was guilty for highlighting his comments. It is a indirect call for continuation of the divide and rule policy so favoured by Barisan Nasional which took over from our colonial masters.

In fact, Penang UMNO opposition leader, Datuk Azhar Ibrahim asked for the Sinchew reporter involved to be "shot"(!)

"What was written may lead to a racial riot. If such a thing happens, he is the first person that should be shot," he said to loud cheers from Umno supporters who packed the meeting room at Menara Umno here.

Umm... isn't that a clear cut case of shooting the messenger? Using the same term of reference (which I oppose), should the person who raised the racist remarks in the first place, Ahmad "penumpang" Ismail be the one to be shot for inciting hatred "which may lead to a racial riot"?

Is this the type of UMNO wakil rakyat we have in this country? Or is he enjoying being in opposition so much that he's trying to let Pakatan Rakyat keep Penang for good? Is our Barisan Nasional and UMNO leadership in agreement with this Datuk Azhar's remarks? Silence means none other than consent in this case.

The third tight slap, Pak Lah received on behalf of Barisan Nasional component parties, MCA and Gerakan. With all the bravado displayed by these 2 parties leading up to an apology by the Deputy Prime Minister himself, Datuk Ahmad "penumpang" Ismail not only remained defiant, but upped the ante instead.

Ahmad also slammed Gerakan acting president Dr Koh Tsu Koon as a “great liar and opportunist”, and said Gerakan can always “get out from Barisan Nasional”.

UMNO is now beyond redemption. They have remained stuck in stone age and have refused, out of vested interest, to shift out of their coconut shell. The people of Malaysia have matured politically, most of whom, including Malays as demonstrated in the Permatang Pauh by-elections, have grown out of the racial politics framework. But the entire Penang state UMNO saw no need for change but came out fight for their extremist cause instead.

The question, I have then for Gerakan and MCA is, "what else are you waiting for?" Continue to back your best friends, by shamelessly giving the excuse that the above extremist views are just that of a few black sheep, and the national UMNO leadership do not share their views? This is not ONE man in UMNO. It is the entire UMNO state machinery in Penang, so far openly supported by UMNO Kelantan. Gerakan and MCA should also note that practically all of the other UMNO leaders have remained absolutely silent, which in effect means tacit support for these Penang leaders.

So are you all, Gerakan and MCA, going to stick around til the next elections to witness your inevitable demise? Gerakan has 2 seats while MCA has 15 left in the Parliament, can it be any worse?

The concept of Barisan Nasional has completely outlived its usefulness. While Gerakan and MCA has been DAP's political adversaries for decades, it is never too late to see the light and give Malaysia a fresh start by joining the Pakatan Rakyat federal government.

Make that change, leave the Dark Side and join the Jedi Knights. May the force be with you.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ahmad "I'll Not Apologise" Ismail

Barisan Nasional component parties were probably thanking their lucky stars for Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak's apology on behalf of UMNO over Datuk Ahmad Ismail's statement that Chinese minorities in the country were penumpang. While, it didn't fully resolve the issue, it certainly dissipated a fair bit of the minority communities anger over the racist remarks.

But no, this UMNO Bukit Bendera division warlord had other plans for MCA and Gerakan. Despite being pressed to apologise for his views and remarks, even after Datuk Seri Najib's face-saving apology, Datuk Ahmad Ismail, after "disappearing" for a few days, has stressed that he'll "not apologise".
"As far as I am concerned, I did not say or do anything wrong. So why should I apologise?"
He went on to reject claims that he was a racist and even cited many Chinese and Indians as his childhood friends.
Ahmad, in refuting claims that he was a “racist”, said he had been friends with many Chinese and Indian Malaysians since his childhood.

“I have never been racist and will never be. It is rubbish to suggest that I am a racist,” blasted Ahmad...
I really wonder, in his to-be-scheduled press conference on Saturday in Penang, whether these Chinese and Indian friends of his would dare to step up and stand behind this Datuk and provide personal testimonies to the effect that he isn't a racist?

In fact, I'd like to know which leader from Barisan Nasional will appear and stand behind him at the conference.

As a scriptwriter, I can envision 3 possible endings:
  1. Pak Lah gets woken up from his slumber by MCA, Gerakan, DAP etc., and decides to give this Datuk Ahmad Ismail a figurative tight slap and banish him from UMNO.

  2. Pak Lah continues his self-induced slumber to avoid antagonising a crucial warlord support in the coming party elections, leaving MCA and Gerakan red-faced with tails between their legs.

  3. Or would we instead get a apology but no apology type statement which we usually hear from Barisan Nasional leaders who shoot from their hip, "my statement was not intended to hurt anybody, but I'll apologise if you feel hurt by it." And of course, BN leaders, including MCA and Gerakan will claim moral victory and matters "resolved".
Where would you put your money? I know where to put mine. ;-)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Budget 2009: Skyrocketing Operational Expenditure

The above chart tracks the increase in the Government's
operating expenditure over the past 12 years (in millions)

The budget for 2009 announced last Friday, is once again, a record budget amounting to RM205.9 billion relative to RM176.9 billion which was budgeted for 2008 last year.

While everyone was expecting an expansionary budget in the light of a global economic slowdown, the very substantial increase of 16.4% raises the question of the Government's efficiency and effectiveness especially when the bulk of the increase has gone towards operational expenditure. Operational expenditure includes financial items such as rental, maintenance, emoluments, general supplies and services as well as other items such as compensation to toll concessionaires.

As per the chart above, the Government's operating expenditure has been increasing very rapidly over the past 10 years. It has increased by 189.0% since 2000.

I find it very difficult to fathom why the Government's operating expenditure has to increase by as much as RM53 billion or 52.4% in just 3 years since 2006. It has more than doubled since Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over as the prime minister in 2003.

In fact, the proposed Government's operating expenditure in 2009 of RM154.2 billion has exceeded the entire Government's budget expenditure of RM136.8 billion by 12.7% just 3 years ago in 2006.

The Government must put in more effort to rein in operational expenditure which has clearly grown fat and unwieldy and is becoming difficult to maintain. Most importantly, the Government must act firmly to cut down on wastages, corruption and unfair contracts such as expensive repair and maintenance bills for poor quality construction like Middle Ring Road II, purchasing equipment with highly inflated prices as discovered by the Auditor-General as well as lucrative compensations paid to toll concessionaires.

This rapid expansion of operational expenditure has deprived the country of sizeable funds for development expenditure which has greater economic multiplier effects. It has also resulted in a larger than necessary deficit in our budget, which leaves no surplus for our future generation. If this trend were to continue, our economy will be certainly at the risk of collapse in the near future.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Ahmad "Penumpang" Ismail

UMNO Bukit Bendera Division Chief, Datuk Ahmad Ismail has once again demonstrated the party's true colours and they obviously will never learn or change their bigoted ways.

This time round, even their badly discredited political partners, MCA and Gerakan came out strongly to denounce his statements made during the recent Permatang Pauh elections that the Malaysian Chinese were "penumpang" (squatters) and cannot be trusted to whip up racial support for UMNO. And he did it in front of Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, without any reprimand from the latter.

Will it however be a complete show, signature campaigns and all, and Datuk Ahmad Ismail gets away scot free? Well, it certainly looks like it.

There is no other term to describe the Prime Minister and UMNO president, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's response to the controversy except to call him totally spineless. His only comment to the press to date:
"I will tell him not to do it again. You know in a campaign all sorts of things can come up. I don’t think he meant it. I’ll make sure to tell him not to use it again."
The response is almost laughable. I believe it isn't necessary for DAP to do much to ensure the continued political demise of MCA, MIC and Gerakan. UMNO, including the Prime Minister himself, will do it for us. All these controversies are happening as Malaysia celebrate its 51st Merdeka anniversary, packed with the rhetoric of national unity and harmony.

DAP has filed police reports throughout the country in every state today to symbolically voice our utmost disgust and disappointment with Datuk Ahmad Ismail for his racist remarks. It is our solemn protest to ask UMNO to uphold the spirit of Merdeka.

Many have pointed out the fact that Datuk Ahmad Ismail's remarks have created feelings of discontent and hurt among the various races in the country, which is deemed illegal under the Sedition Act Clause 3(1)(e) which states that it is seditious:
to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of population of Malaysia
While, the criticism of Sedition Act is its lack of clarity and subjectivity of what is deemed to promote "feelings of ill-will", Datuk Ahmad Ismail has clearly and conclusively breached another clause under Sedition Act, 3(1)(f) which deems seditious any act:
to question any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative established or protect by the provisions of Part III of the Federal Constitution...
Now, Part III of the Federal Constitution is on Citizenship where it guarantees citizenship under Article 14
  1. Subject to the provisions of this Part, the following persons are citizens by operation of law, that is to say:
(a) every person born before Malaysia Day who is a citizen of the Federation by virtue of the provisions contained in Part 1 of the Second Schedule; and

(b) every person born on or after Malaysia Day, and having any of the qualifications specified in Part 11 of the Second Schedule.

Hence, under Malaysian laws, one cannot question the citizenship of Malaysians regardless of race or religion.

I've read the relevant clauses a few times, and I can see it no other way than to say that Datuk Ahmad Ismail is in breach of Malaysia's laws and the Attorney-General must initiate actions against him. The offence is punishable by being sentenced to 3 years jail or RM5,000 fine or both.

Will Pak Lah act to uphold Malaysian constitution and laws? Or will he finally pick up political courage to do the necessary? Will MCA and Gerakan accept no punitive or concrete actions against Datuk Ahmad Ismail? Or will UMNO and Barisan Nasional component parties continue with its rhetoric of national unity, which can no longer mask its "cakap tak serupa bikin" culture.