Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Zaid Ibrahim's open letter to PM

29 September 2008

YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah Badawi
Prime Minister of Malaysia
5th Floor, East Wing
Perdana Putra Building

Dear Mr Prime Minister

In our proclamation of independence, our first Prime Minister gave voice to the lofty aspirations and dreams of the people of Malaya: that Malaya was founded on the principles of liberty and justice, and the promise that collectively we would always strive to improve the welfare and happiness of its people.

Many years have passed since that momentous occasion and those aspirations and dreams remain true and are as relevant to us today as they were then. This was made possible by a strong grasp of fundamentals in the early period of this nation. The Federal Constitution and the laws made pursuant to it were well founded; they embodied the key elements of a democracy built on the Rule of Law. The Malaysian Judiciary once commanded great respect from Malaysians and was hailed as a beacon for other nations. Our earlier Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn were truly leaders of integrity, patriots in their own right and most importantly, men of humility. They believed in and built this nation on the principles and values enunciated in our Constitution.

Even when they had to enact the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960, they were very cautious and apologetic about it. Tunku stated clearly that the Act was passed to deal with the communist threat. “My cabinet colleagues and I gave a solemn promise to Parliament and the nation that the immense powers given to the Government under the ISA would never be used to stifle legitimate opposition and silent lawful dissent”, was what the Tunku said. Our third Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn reinforced this position by saying that the ISA was not intended to repress lawful political opposition and democratic activity on the part of the citizenry.

The events of the last three weeks have compelled me to review the way in which the ISA has been used. This exercise has sadly led me to the conclusion that the Government has time and time again failed the people of this country in repeatedly reneging on that solemn promise made by Tunku Abdul Rahman. This has been made possible because the Government and the law have mistakenly allowed the Minister of Home Affairs to detain anyone for whatever reason he thinks fit. This subjective discretion has been abused to further certain political interests.

History is the great teacher and speaks volumes in this regard. Even a cursory examination of the manner in which the ISA has been used almost from its inception would reveal the extent to which its intended purpose has been subjugated to the politics of the day.

Regrettably, Tunku Abdul Rahman himself reneged on his promise. In 1965, his administration detained Burhanuddin Helmi, the truly towering Malay intellectual, a nationalist who happened to be a PAS leader. He was kept in detention until his death in 1969. Helmi was a political opponent and could by no stretch of the imagination be considered to have been involved in the armed rebellion or communism that the ISA was designed to deal with. This detention was an aberration, a regrettable moment where politics had been permitted to trump the rule of law. It unfortunately appears to have set a precedent and many detentions of persons viewed as having been threatening to the incumbent administration followed through the years. Even our literary giant, ‘sasterawan negara’ the late Tan Sri A Samad Ismail was subjected to the ISA in 1976. How could he have been a threat to national security?

I need not remind you of the terrible impact of the 1987 Operasi Lalang. Its spectre haunts the Government as much as it does the peace loving people of this nation, casting a gloom over all of us. There were and still are many unanswered questions about those dark hours when more than a hundred persons were detained for purportedly being threats to national security. Why they were detained has never been made clear to Malaysians. Similarly, no explanation has been forthcoming as to why they were never charged in court. Those detainees included amongst their numbers senior opposition Members of Parliament who are still active in Parliament today. The only thing that is certain about that period was that UMNO was facing a leadership crisis. Isn’t it coincidental that the recent spate of ISA arrests has occurred when UMNO is again having a leadership crisis?

In 2001, Keadilan ‘reformasi’ activists were detained in an exercise that the Federal Court declared was in bad faith and unlawful. The continued detention of those that were not released earlier in the Kamunting detention facility was made possible only by the fact that the ISA had been questionably amended in 1988 to preclude judicial review of the Minister’s order to detain. Malaysians were told that these detainees had been attempting to overthrow the Government via militant means and violent demonstrations. Seven years have gone and yet no evidence in support of this assertion has been presented. Compounding the confusion even further, one of these so-called militants, Ezam Mohamad Noor, recently rejoined UMNO to great fanfare, as a prized catch it would seem.

At around the same time, members of PAS were also detained for purportedly being militant and allegedly having links to international terrorist networks. Those detained included Nik Adli, the son of Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat the Menteri Besar of Kelantan. Malaysians were made a promise by the Government that evidence of the alleged terrorist activities and links of these detainees would be disclosed. To date no such evidence has been produced.

The same formula was used in late 2007 when the HINDRAF 5 were detained. Malaysians were told once again that these individuals were involved in efforts to overthrow the Government and had links with the militant Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam of Sri Lanka. To date no concrete evidence have been presented to support this assertion. It would seem therefore that the five were detained for their involvement in efforts that led to a mobilisation of Malaysian Indians to express, through peaceful means, their frustration against the way in which their community had been allowed to be marginalised. This cause has since been recognised as a legitimate one. The HINDRAF demonstration is nothing extraordinary as such assemblies are universally recognised as being a legitimate means of expression.

In the same vein, the grounds advanced in support of the most recent detentions of Tan Hoon Cheng, Teresa Kok and Raja Petra Kamarudin leave much to be desired. The explanation that Tan Hoon Cheng was detained for her own safety was farcical. The suggestion that Teresa Kok had been inciting religious sentiments was unfounded as was evinced by her subsequent release.

As for Raja Petra Kamarudin, the prominent critic of the Government, a perusal of his writings would show that he might have been insulting of the Government and certain individuals within it. However, being critical and insulting could not in any way amount to a threat to national security. If his writings are viewed as being insulting of Islam, Muslims or the Holy Prophet (pbuh), he should instead be charged under the Penal Code and not under the ISA. In any event, he had already been charged for sedition and criminal defamation in respect of some of his statements. He had claimed trial, indicating as such his readiness and ability to defend himself. Justice would best be served by allowing him his day in court more so where, in the minds of the public, the Government is in a position of conflict for having been the target of his strident criticism.

The instances cited above strongly suggest that the Government is undemocratic. It is this perspective that has over the last 25 plus years led to the Government seemingly arbitrarily detaining political opponents, civil society and consumer advocates, writers, businessmen, students, journalists whose crime, if it could be called that, was to have been critical of the Government. How it is these individuals can be perceived as being threats to national security is beyond my comprehension. The self-evident reality is that legitimate dissent was and is quashed through the heavy-handed use of the ISA.

There are those who support and advocate this carte-blanche reading of the ISA. They will seek to persuade you that the interests of the country demand that such power be retained, that Malaysians owe their peace and stability to laws such as the ISA. This overlooks the simple truth that Malaysians of all races cherish peace. We lived together harmoniously for the last 400 years, not because of these laws but in spite of them.

I believe the people of this country are mature and intelligent enough to distinguish actions that constitute a ‘real’ threat to the country from those that threaten political interests. Malaysians have come know that the ISA is used against political opponents and, it would seem, when the leadership is under challenge either from within the ruling party or from external elements.

Malaysians today want to see a Government that is committed to the court process to determine guilt or innocence even for alleged acts of incitement of racial or religious sentiment. They are less willing to believe, as they once did, that a single individual, namely the Minister of Home Affairs, knows best about matters of national security. They value freedom and the protection of civil liberties and this is true of people of other nations too.

Mr Prime Minister, the results of the last General Election are clear indication that the people of Malaysia are demanding a reinstatement of the Rule of Law. I was appointed as your, albeit short-lived, Minister in charge of legal affairs and judicial reform. In that capacity, I came to understand more keenly how many of us want reform, not for the sake of it, but for the extent to which our institutions have been undermined by events and the impact this has had on society.

With your blessing, I attempted to push for reform. High on my list of priorities was a reinstatement of the inherent right of judicial review that could be enabled through a reversion of the key constitutional provision to its form prior to the controversial amendment in 1988. I need not remind you that that constitutional amendment was prompted by the same series of events that led not only to Operasi Lalang but the sacking of the then Lord President and two supreme court justices. Chief amongst my concerns was the way in which the jurisdiction and the power of the Courts to grant remedy against unconstitutional and arbitrary action of the Executive had been removed by Parliament and the extent to which this had permitted an erosion of the civil liberties of Malaysians. It was this constitutional amendment that paved the way for the ouster provision in the ISA that virtually immunises the Minister from judicial review, a provision which exemplifies the injustice the constitutional amendment of 1988 has lent itself.

I also sought to introduce means by which steps could be taken to assist the Judiciary to regain the reputation for independence and competence it once had. Unfortunately, this was viewed as undesirable by some since an independent Judiciary would mean that the Executive would be less ‘influential’.

I attempted to do these things and more because of the realisation that Malaysia’s democratic traditions and the Rule of Law are under siege. Anyway, there is nothing wrong with giving everyone an independent Judiciary and the opportunity to a fair trial. This is consistent with the universal norms of human rights as it is with the tenets of Islam, the religion of the Federation. Unchecked power to detain at the whim of one man is oppressiveness at its highest. Even in Israel, a nation that is perpetually at war, the power to detain is not vested in one man and detention orders require endorsement from a judge.

If there are national security considerations, then these can be approached without jettisoning the safeguards intended to protect individual citizens from being penalised wrongfully. In other jurisdictions involved in armed conflicts, trials are held in camera to allow for judicial scrutiny of evidence considered too sensitive for public disclosure so as to satisfy the ends of justice. If this can be done in these jurisdictions, why not here where the last armed struggle we saw, the very one that precipitated the need for the ISA, came to an end in the 1980s? Any doubts as to the continued relevance of the ISA in its present form should have been put to rest by the recommendation by the National Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) that the ISA be repealed and an anti-terror legislation suited to the times enacted in its place. Containing as it did a sunset clause in its original times, the ISA was never intended to be a permanent feature on the Malaysian legal landscape.

Through its continued use in the manner described above and in the face of public sentiment, it is only natural that the ISA has become in the mind of the people an instrument of oppression and the Government is one that lends itself to oppressiveness. Its continued use does not bode well for a society that is struggling to find its place in the global arena. It does not bode well for the democracy that is so vital for us to develop sustainably.

Mr Prime Minister, I remember very clearly what you once said; that if one has the opportunity to do what is good and right for the country, then he must take on the task. I respect you deeply for that and if I were confident that I would have been able to do some good for Malaysia, I would have remained on your team. Sir, you are still the Prime Minister and you still have the opportunity to leave your footprint in Malaysian history. I urge you to do so by repealing the ISA once and for all.

Let us attempt to fulfil that solemn promise made by our beloved first Prime Minister to the people of this country.

Yours sincerely

Kuala Lumpur

Anti-ISA vigil turns into peace march - Malaysiakini

About 2,000 people marched from the Dataran Merdeka to the Hindu temple opposite the Puduraya bus terminal in solidarity against the Internal Security Act. More news at: www.malaysiakini.com

Monday, September 29, 2008

Councillor who took sexual favours sacked - Star

IPOH: Sept 29, 2008

The state government has declared as vacant the post of Perak Tengah district councillor, held by Zul Hassan who is facing a corruption charge and admitted to having accepted sexual favours.

The move which was quickly hailed by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

“Zul Hassan, who is under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Authority (ACA), had not only issued a statement confessing to illicit sex, but also justified his decision by saying he was induced into committing thw immoral act,” PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said in a statement.

“Such a statement makes a mockery of Pakatan Rakyat’s pledge towards a government that respects the trust of the people,” she said.

Zul Hassan is facing a corruption charge over a development project at Seri Iskandar in Perak Tengah. In a complaint that he lodged against one Mohamad Imran Abdullah, he and businessman Fairul Azrim Ismail admitted having accepted offers to have sex with Chinese nationals.

Mohamad Imran is the complainant in a corruption case in which Zul and four others are the accused.

Zul Hassan had been quoted as saying “what is important is we did not ask for the women. He supplied them to us. If people sedekah (donate), don’t you want to accept it?”

Dr Wan Azizah said the PKR disciplinary committee will deal with Zul Hassan, who will be asked to explain his statement above.

Koh: 60% want Gerakan to leave BN - Sun


KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 28, 2008): by Maria J. Dass

Although the sentiment among the grassroots for Gerakan to leave Barisan Nasional (BN) is prevalent because of incidents that took place over the last two months, the party is adopting a cautious stand as it needs to examine and ponder over its survival post-BN.
"At least 60% say 'let us be relieved of this burden', which is considered an emotional burden, but we have to go beyond that, we have to go beyond sentiments," the party's acting president, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, said today.

"Now, after the initial feelings and sentiments because of things that have happened, especially in the last one to two months, have subsided, they are becoming much more calm, collected and mature in their approach and are able to think over the things that have been discussed," he said at the opening of the Federal Territory (FT) Gerakan Wanita and Youth delegates conference.

Gerakan had been embroiled in a controversy over the remarks made by former Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail in a speech during the run-up to the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election.

"Going by the sentiments gathered from views at the grassroots level, at least 60% say it is very difficult to stay in the coalition (BN) because they are being criticised outside," Koh said.

"But we have to go through a more objective and rational analysis of this and we are going thorough that process.

"Of course, the sentiment gathered from people outside is why should you stay in Barisan?, You should come out.

"But they very seldom ask the third question. The first question is always 'Will you support Barisan?', the second is 'Would you want Gerakan to remain in Barisan? and the third is 'When we come out, will you support us versus DAP or versus PKR?. That question is seldom being asked until lately.

"We are now getting answers, which are very realistic answers. We need to take a lot of factors into consideration and not just based on sentiments."

Koh said that while sentiments are important and have to be taken into consideration for the future of the political role of Gerakan in the political arena, "it has to be a combination of the heart and the mind".

"We have to combine sentiment with rational analysis and we have adjusted our thinking after much pondering," he said.

"It is a very trying and challenging time. It is time for a lot of soul-searching and rational objective and analysis, combined with a lot of sentiments, and thus, it cannot be a straightforward simplistic, simple decision.

"We are not ruling out any possibilities and are constantly getting feedback and analysis in addition to monitoring the changes in the country’s political landscape."

Koh said no deadline has been set as the party does not want to be rigid in view of the constant changes happening around it.

He said there are three options for the party, which are to stay in BN, leave BN and join Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), or leave the BN and be independent.

>> On whether he will contest for the presidency in October , Koh announced he would be but it clear he would not remain in office for more than two terms as he wants to elevate young leaders to engineer change and revive the party.

>> On his choice for deputy, he said: "We will eventually let the delegates decide."

>> On Gerakan Federal Territory members hopping over the PKR (see accompanying story), Koh said: "I was just informed of this although I had heard the rumours two days ago that some of our leaders are in talks with them."

He said he was shocked because two weeks ago, some of those who defected had sat in a meeting with him and never indicated any dissatisfaction.

"This episode also shows that PKR seeks publicity and confrontation, and puts up political dramas, as they just had to welcome these members on the same day that the Gerakan FT is holding its delegates conference," Koh said.

>> On the power transition plan in Umno, Koh said Gerakan hopes it will be carried out in a smooth and peaceful manner so as not to upset the social and economic order.

He said by tradition, the change in party leadership in a BN component party is an internal matter, However, he hopes that the BN supreme council will brief the other component parties on what the Umno supreme council has decided so that the transition plan can be understood by other component parties.

He said BN is in dire need of a revamp and re-branding to remain relevant.

"What is important at the end of the day is that this transition benefits the BN and, most of all, the country," he said.

‘Engage in peaceful discussion’ - Star

GEORGE TOWN: Sept 29, 2008

Gerakan has condemned the Molotov cocktail assault on the home of Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, saying it was an act of cowardice.

Party acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said there should be discussions in a democratic manner when conflicts arose.

He said anyone disagreeing with Kok’s stand should be brave enough to engage her in a peaceful debate.

“While Gerakan may not agree with the stand or approach of Kok and other opposition leaders on certain issues, we strongly defend their right to freedom of expression,” he said in a statement yesterday.

FT Gerakan members defect to PKR - Star

PETALING JAYA: Sept 29, 2008

More than 20 Federal Territory Gerakan members have defected to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Former Federal Territory Gerakan information bureau chief Gan Kok Keng, who led the defections yesterday, said at least 300 more members from four divisions would be joining the opposition party soon.

These divisions are the Setiawangsa, Wangsa Maju, Bukit Bintang and Kepong divisions. The 20 members were also from these divisions.

Dr Koh considering the possibility of party leaving Barisan Nasional - Star

Gerakan mulls quiting Barisan, may join Pakatan


Leaving the Bari­san Nasional and joining Pakatan Rakyat is one of the three options being considered by Gerakan.

Party acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said the two other options were to stay with the ruling coalition or leave and be independent.

“We are not ruling out any possibility (of leaving) at this moment. We have to assess but we are not closing the door.

“Neither are we saying we will definitely leave. It’s something we need to assess but we cannot do it based on sentiments alone,” he told reporters after launching the KL-Federal Territory (FT) state delegates conference here yesterday.

“If you go on sentiments alone, I would say more than 60% (want to leave) but we are taking a lot of factors into consideration. A decision cannot be based just on sentiments.”

He added that party leaders were examining how the political scenario in the country would continue to change and had been getting feedback from the grassroots.

“It’s a very trying time and there is need for a lot of rational, objective analysis. It cannot be a straightforward, simplistic decision,” he said.

In his opening speech, Dr Koh announced that he would be contesting for the party presidency in the October party elections.

“I am offering myself for the post, but I have also set a time-frame for myself, and it is unlikely that I will go beyond two terms.

“I would like to have younger and newer leaders to continue the process of political commitment,” he said.

Asked if he would name his deputy, he replied: “We will let the delegates decide.”

On some 20 FT Gerakan members defecting to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Dr Koh expressed surprise.

“It was only last week that (former Setiawangsa Gerakan chief) Li Tiam Chai was with me in a meeting and there were no signs that he was not happy.

“We were talking about how to strengthen the party.

“So, I am surprised but I will continue with the veterans,” he said.

On the Umno leadership transition, Dr Koh said he hoped it would be “smooth and peaceful.”

“Even though it is an internal party matter, we are also concerned because the Umno leader becomes the leader of Barisan and the Federal Government,” he said.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Raja Petra to be detained 2yrs under ISA - Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Sept 23, 2008

Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin was served with an order last night that would see him detained in Kamunting for two years under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The detention order was signed by Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar last night.

He will be held without trial under Section 8 of the ISA, reporters were told by his lawyers, who were at the High Court hear to argue their habeas corpus application on Tuesday.

He was detained under the ISA on Sept 12. Two others detained that day, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok and Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Choon Heng, have since been released.

Raja Petra had filed a notice of motion through Messrs Mathews Hun Kandiah last Tuesday citing the grounds that his detention was unlawful and contravened the Federal Constitution.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pak Lah mesti berundur kalau tak mahu dimalukan

Posted by Kudakepang

KUALA LUMPUR: 20 Sept 2008

Majlis Tertinggi UMNO telah menasihati Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi bersara secara sukarela, segera dan terhormat. Jika tidak, kemungkinan besar Abdullah akan disingkirkan oleh majoriti bahagian UMNO yang memulakan perwakilan bahagian masing-masing pada 10 Oktober 2008.

Lantaran itu, Abdullah dijangka mengumumkan tarikh persaraannya daripada siasah dan kerajaan dalam tempoh terdekat ini demi agama, bangsa dan tanahair, selewat-lewatnya pada 9 Oktober 2008.

Nasihat di atas telah disampaikan oleh Majlis Tertinggi UMNO kepada Abdullah dalam mesyuaratnya pada 18 September 2008.

Ini kerana persidangan perwakilan UMNO bahagian kali ini akan menamakan calon-calon pucuk pimpinan tertinggi parti yang akan dipertandingkan pada Disember 2008.

Jika Abdullah enggan berundur, beliau dijangka menghadapi risiko tidak memperolehi kuota secukupnya untuk mempertahankan kerusi Presiden UMNO yang disandangnya ketika ini.

Ambil Risiko

Sekelompok orang Abdullah mungkin akan mendesak Abdullah untuk bertahan, mengambil risiko dan tidak bersara. Kelompok ini dikatakan rela menabur wang berjuta-juta ringgit nilainya semata-mata untuk mempertahankan kedudukan Abdullah sebagai Perdana Menteri dan Presiden UMNO.

Dalam konteks ini, seorang Ahli Majlis Tertinggi UMNO memberitahu blog ini, mainan politik wang ini tidak mungkin berlaku. Ini kerana kini sudah wujud sebuah badan pemantau bebas yang bergerak secara rahsia untuk menggagalkan kemungkinan berkenaan.

Katanya, pelbagai projek di beberapa koridor pembangunan yang ditawarkan oleh sesetengah pihak kepada segolongan ketua-ketua bahagian sebelum ini pun sudah tidak lagi diyakini oleh pihak terbabit bila ekonomi dunia mula meredum dan Kementerian Kewangan pula diserahkan kepada Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Seorang lagi Ahli Majlis Tertinggi pula menyatakan kepada blog ini bahawa nasihat yang disampaikan kepada Abdullah pada 18 September 2008 adalah satu ledakan gelombang perubahan yang serius. Gelombang ini akan meledak jadi tsunami siasah jika Abdullah mengengkari nasihat berkenaan.

Maka, katanya, terserahlah kepada Abdullah untuk mengartikulasikan nasihat Majlis Tertinggi. Jika Abdullah mahu mengambil risiko, Abdullah dijangka terkapai-kapai seorang diri dan akhirnya menjadi mangsa kepada tsunami siasah yang meledak daripada peringkat bahagian.

Abdullah Sedar

Ahli Majlis Tertinggi ini mengesahkan posting oleh beberapa bloggers tempatan yang mengatakan mesyuarat Majlis Tertinggi UMNO pada 18 September 2008 adalah hangat dan decisive. Beliau juga mengakui bahawa sebilangan besar anggota kanan Majlis Tertinggi UMNO rata-rata menasihati Abdullah bersara secara terhormat dan dengan segera.

Sebab itulah agaknya Abdullah dipetik oleh Bernama 18 September 2008, sebagai berkata bahawa “sebarang keputusan berkaitan kedudukannya sebagai Presiden UMNO dan juga peralihan kuasa akan dibuat oleh beliau sendiri.”

Abdullah juga dipetik sebagai berkata bahawa “sebarang perubahan kepada pelan peralihan kuasa itu akan beliau bincangkan dengan timbalannya Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.”

Mengenai peralihan kuasa, Abdullah juga berkata: “Saya tidak beri penjelasan semula. Saya hanya kata yang saya sedar, saya sentiasa mendengar, saya sedang memberi perhatian kepada apa yang berlaku mengenai situasi sekarang ini dalam parti. Apa-apa juga keputusan yang akan saya buat mengenai perkara ini akan saya bincang dulu dengan Datuk Seri Najib, kemudian keputusan itu akan dibawa untuk makluman Majlis Tertinggi.”

Moga-moga Abdullah yang kini “sedar, sentiasa mendengar dan sedang memberi perhatian kepada apa yang berlaku mengenai situasi sekarang ini dalam parti” seperti ditegaskan di atas akan menghormati nasihat Majlis Tertinggi UMNO yang mewakili aspirasi majoriti warga UMNO akar umbi di seluruh negara mutakhir ini. Mudah-mudahan di hari baik bulan baik ini Abdullah sanggup berkorban demi kepentingan agama, bangsa dan tanahair dengan mengumumkan persaraannya daripada siasah dan kerajaan sebelum 10 Oktober 2008.

Wan Azizah: More Barisan MPs keen to cross over - Star

BUTTERWORTH: Sept 22, 2008

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said that more Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament were keen to cross over to the Pakatan Rakyat.

She said that her husband and Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim were holding discussions with them in Kuala Lumpur.

“Anwar is making extra effort to meet more MPs as some were sent to Taiwan and Hong Kong,” she said.

She said this when asked about Anwar’s absence from his Permatang Pauh constituency yesterday where he was scheduled to give Hari Raya aid.

She also said an official letter had not been sent to the Yang DiPertuan Agong but that would be the next course of action.

In Kuala Lumpur, PKR strategist Saifuddin Nasution said Pakatan Rakyat had started its “countdown” for the takeover and things were moving according to plan.

He said the opposition pact had a “complete and comprehensive checklist” in place, taking in every possible scenario for the takeover.

This, he said, included strategies should Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi step down as Prime Minister and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak take over. He said a change of prime minister would not affect their plans.

“Our timeline is by the hour. Putrajaya is within reach,” he said.

Anwar had set Sept 16 as the date to take over the Government but this did not happen and Barisan leaders said it was a big bluff.

Saifuddin said a detailed and comprehensive planning was necessary because the takeover of Government was a process that had never been done before in Malaysia.

He said the plan looked at aspects such as the powers of the Yang DiPertuan Agong and prime minister, and the possibility of an emergency or snap elections by the Government to prevent a takeover.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said Abdullah should reconsider Anwar’s call to hold an emergency Parliament meeting to table a no-confidence motion against him.

No-confidence vote not the only way - Sun

Sept 22, 2008 by Maria J. Dass

THE premise that Parliament has to be called for a vote of no-confidence against the prime minister (PM) to be passed is too simplistic, said advocate and solicitor Tommy Thomas. He was responding to an interview published on Thursday in theSun with constitutional law expert Prof Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi who said that under the Constitution [Article 43(4)], it is Parliament, and not the Agong, which must dismiss the PM.

Article 43(4) of the Constitution reads: If the PM ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives, then, unless at his request the Yang di-Pertuan Agong dissolves Parliament, the prime minister shall tender the resignation of the cabinet.

“However, for Shad’s interpretation to be correct, Article 43(4) ought to read like this: If the Prime Minister is defeated on a motion of confidence in the House of Representatives, then…” Thomas said.

If Shad’s interpretation is right, it was limited to only one occasion and one fact pattern – that the matter needs to be brought to the Dewan Rakyat, he said, adding that the broad scope of the Constitution allowed for other methods to be applied.

“I accept the method Shad mentioned as the traditional method and the first method of preference; where I am disagreeing is that it is not the only method,” he said in an interview last Friday.

He said Article 43(4) represented the Reid Commission report draft and maintained its original form and essentially codified the British Constitutional principle that awards the Agong the exact same powers as the British monarch has. He said nearly all Commonwealth countries had persons who were in similar positions to the British monarch and had the same powers. India, being a republic, has a president while Australia and New Zealand have governors-general to represent the Queen.
So what are the other methods instead of a no-confidence vote?

Thomas: To answer this we have to first look at the fact that in almost every Commonwealth nation, there is a supreme head, a constitutional monarch. In Malaysia, it is the Agong as stipulated in Article 32(1) of the Federal Constitution. This supreme head has to be above politics and serve the role of stabilising the nation, especially in a time of crisis like this.

Article 43(2)(a), which states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall first appoint PM to preside over the cabinet a member of the House of Representative who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that House, leaves the discretion of appointing the PM to the Agong.

The King has to take the advice of the PM 99.999% of the time according to Article 40(1); however the Agong may act in his discretion to appoint the PM and to withhold the consent to a request for the dissolution of Parliament according to Article 40(2).

In some situations he doesn’t take the PM’s advice because the advice may be self-serving. In the case where a PM does not enjoy the support of the majority, his self-serving advice may be to “keep me, don’t sack me”.

So in these situations and in times of trouble, the King should look above the advice and speak up in the interest of the nation.

As a constitutional monarch, the Agong cannot remove the PM unless he is convinced that the PM has lost the confidence of the majority of Dewan Rakyat members as stipulated in Article 43(4) and 40(3).

If the events in 43(4) occur, then the PM can be dismissed if he doesn’t resign.

The provisions in the Constitution give the King a very broad discretion, but he cannot act as a dictator as there are restraints to his absolute discretion. For example, he cannot appoint you or me to be PM because of the simple reason that we are not members of the lower house. That tells you straight away that the choice is limited to 222 people.

How does the King exercise his discretion if there is no vote of no-confidence?

A written and signed declaration signed by the majority members of the lower house, where if a member/members of Parliament sees him and produce documents to show that more than the majority needed have signed a declaration of no confidence.

If the King is satisfied with that and genuineness of the signatures, then he can accept that – the method of ascertaining the losing of confidence.

Now this is where I must comment on Shad’s statement where he cited the Stephen Kalong Ningkan case (1966) where the High Court in Kuching refused to accept this method.

What Shad failed to mention was a Privy Council case before (Nigerian case: Adegbenro vs Akintola in 1963) and a Malaysian case after which went the other way.

In the Nigerian case, the governor of Nigeria received such a letter and based on this he sacked the Chief Minister (CM) but the CM said “there was no vote against me so I have not been sacked”.

The Privy Council ruled that it was a genuine sacking and decided that the governor can do what he wanted because of his wide discretion.

In 1966 Justice Harley in Kuching in his judgment on the Stephen Kalong Ningkan case said he won’t follow the Nigerian case because Nigeria is different from Sarawak – which in my view is a very simplistic view.

Then 30 years later, we had this case involving Datuk Amir Kahar Mustapha vs Tun Mohd Said Keruak – which involves former chief minister of Sabah Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan when there were several defections from the party after the 1994 general election and Kitingan lost his position. The appointment of the new governor was later challenged. The facts are very similar and the issue raised was whether a signed letter cum document could be accepted. Justice Kadir Sulaiman followed the Privy Council method and said of course.

What is more interesting is the winning lawyer whose arguments were accepted by Kadir Sulaiman was none other than present Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail, who was arguing for the state government of Sabah.

The disadvantage of this method is the authenticity of the signature, thus the whole idea is proof that the King is acting reasonably and responsibly, not arbitrarily. Therefore, the King has to make his own investigations and satisfy himself and make known the steps which he took in making the decision for the whole country. To do this the King should summon them, whether he does this or they voluntarily go then this is the best evidence, best proof. If any constitutional monarch did this, then they can be absolutely above criticism.

The King’s say in removing the PM

Scenario One:
A vote in the lower house takes place and motion is carried. Then the outgoing PM must inform the monarch that he has lost the confidence of the house. The PM then has a prerogative to ask for the dissolution of Parliament so that fresh elections can be held for him to test his mandate with the people.

The King then has to use his discretion at this stage. If he accepts, Parliament will be dissolved and the PM’s government will be appointed as a caretaker government. But if the King says no to dissolve Parliament, the PM must tender his resignation to cabinet. If he refuses to resign, it is implied that the King can sack him.

Scenario Two:
The King does not rely on a motion in the house but upon being satisfied that the PM no longer enjoys the support of the majority in the house, tells the PM to resign and replaces him with a candidate which he sees fit. If the PM refuses, it is implied in the Constitution that he can be sacked.

What happens if a motion of no confidence is not granted by the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat?

This is unconstitutional. But this is precisely why scholars are arguing if this is the only method or if there are other ways of doing this. Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is playing a very careful game where he is exhausting the first and preferred method of tabling a no confidence vote against the PM first. Two such motions have been tabled and disallowed by the Speaker so far.

What happens if Anwar is detained under the Internal Security Act?

Even if Anwar is detained under the Internal Security Act, the King can ask for him to be released to meet him – if he sees him as a person qualified as prime ministerial candidate

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pakatan's next stop: Istana Negara - Malaysiakini

Athi Veeranggan | Sep 20, 08 12:58pm

Pakatan Rakyat’s relentless pursuit to take control of the central government from Barisan Nasional could well take the opposition coalition to Istana Negara.

Pakatan had already sought an audience with the constitutional monarch to stake its claim on the federal government by sending an official letter to the king a few days ago, PAS Parit Buntar MP Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa told an anti-ISA forum in Penang last night.

If the king grants an audience, which Pakatan leaders hope will happen soon, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim would then produce the names of parliamentarians backing him to convince the monarch that a change in Putrajaya was inevitable.

More news at: www.malaysiakini.com

Signature movement against ISA - Star


About 200 people signed up to protest the Internal Security Act (ISA) during a signature campaign at the Taman Free School market here.

Jelutong Member of Parliament Jeff Ooi and Datuk Keramat assemblyman Jagdeep Singh Deo spoke at the market, urging the people to support the campaign.

Jagdeep Singh said his party the DAP was against the arrest of Sin Chew Daily senior reporter Tan Hoon Cheng, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok and Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin under the ISA.

Tan was released after 18 hours and Kok afetr seven days in detention.

Ooi said the original use of the ISA was to detain extremists, not civilians.

“The country should be progressing and not regressing with the use of the ISA,” he said.

He also said although Tan and Kok have been released, Raja Petra and the five Hindraf leaders were still under detention, adding that “our ultimate goal is to abolish the Act.”

Bar Council: Abolish ISA, free all detainees - Star


The Malaysian Bar has unanimously passed a resolution calling for the abolition of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the immediate and unconditional release of all detainees, including Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin and the “Hindraf Five.”

Its president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said the Malaysian Bar also strongly condemned the issuance of the three show-cause letters to Sin Chew Daily, theSun and Suara Keadilan and said they should be immediately withdrawn.

The resolution would be handed to the Prime Minister on Monday, she told reporters on Saturday after a closed-door extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

The six-point resolution was passed at the EGM that was attended by more than 730 members. It was also supported by four past presidents.

Ambiga said the Malaysian Bar also strongly condemned the Sept 12 arrests of Raja Petra, Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok.

Tan was released after 18 hours and Kok after seven days in detention.

“Raja Petra and the other detainees should be released. They should be charged in court if they (are suspected of being) guilty of any offence.

“We unanimously and strongly call on the Government to immediately repeal the ISA and all other laws that allow for the detention of persons without trial, such as the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969 and the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985,” she said.

The Government, the resolution stated, should uphold its pledges to the United Nations Human Rights Council to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and to promote a free media, including in cyberspace, and to uphold the rule of law.

At the EGM, Kok, S. Pushpa, the wife of detained Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) lawyer M. Manoharan and a woman known as Laila whose husband had been detained for more than six years under ISA, shared their experiences with those present.

“We are happy that Kok has been released but she should not have been detained in the first place.

“We are deeply troubled by what they shared and by the abuse of ISA which can be termed as a state of terrorism. Family lives have been destroyed and children are affected,” Ambiga added.

Former president Sulaiman Abdullah was quoted by national news agency Bernama as saying that the Government should take into consideration the challenges and trauma faced by family members of these detainees.

Some of their loved ones had been away for more than six years, he said.

“It’s about time the Government repeals ISA since it can be abused against those opposing the Government,” he said, according to Bernama.

Another ex-president, Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari, said this was not the first time that the Malaysian Bar called for the ISA to be repealed and added the law was no longer relevant to contemporary society.

Blogger 'Sheih Kickdefella’ is free - Star

KOTA BARU: Sept 20, 2008

Blogger Syed Azidi Syed Aziz - better known as Sheih Kickdefella - was released from custody at about 4.30pm on Saturday.

Syed Azidi, 38, an employee of Kelantan Mentri Besar Incorporated, was detained on Wednesday for posting alleged seditious statements on his blogsite.

It is believed that the investigations revolved around his posting calling for people to fly the national flag upside down as a sign that the nation was “in distress.”

Syed Azidi took up the state government’s offer to develop its Internet media production some years ago, having been a film director before.

He is regarded as among the pioneers of the Malaysian blogging scene.

Upon his release, he immediately posted at his blog with a message:

Hi folks, sorry for all the unreleased messages and comments. As you know, I have been away on holiday in Lokap Balai Polis Kota Bharu and Lokap Dang Wangi. I tried to check in at Pudu Prison but was turned away because not enough qualification.

I wished to thank all for the supports and prayers.

The police has treated me well and most of the time, beyond the call of duty. I made lots of friends too.

A PC is arrange for me at 5.30pm today for me to bare all. Hehehe if any.

PKR challenges Tiong to lodge ACA report - Star


PKR vice-president R. Sivarasa challenged Barisan Backbenchers Club chairman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing to report to the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) if he believed Pakatan Rakyat offered bribes to Barisan Nasional MPs to jump ship.

“We invite Tiong to lodge a report. Let’s see what the investigation shows,” Sivarasa said.

He also welcomed any Barisan MP alleging that Pakatan was giving out bribes to report to the ACA as the party would also like to find out who was offering the money.

“Pakatan has a firm principle and there is no way we will offer any MP money to cross over,” he said, calling Tiong’s statement “not true.”

In response to Tiong’s allegation that the Barian MPs were also offered Cabinet positions, Sivarasa said negotiating posts was a normal procedure in any political framework.

“Even when we negotiated to join each other (to form Pakatan), we also discussed who would head certain positions in the party.

“There is nothing wrong or immoral about it,” he told reporters at a press conference here on Saturday.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Court to hear Raja Petra’s application next Friday - Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Sept 19, 2008

The High Court here fixed next Friday to hear the habeas corpus application by Raja Petra Raja Kamaruddin who is seeking his release from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The case will be heard before Justice Datuk Mohamed Apandi Ali.

His counsel, Ashok Kandiah, when contacted said he met Raja Petra at Bukit Aman and the Malaysia Today editor had affirmed his affidavit which would be filed at the High Court crminal registry today (Friday) to facilitate his application.

Raja Petra filed a notice of motion through Messrs Mathews Hun Kandiah on Tuesday citing the grounds that his detention was unlawful and contravened the Federal Constitution.

He was arrested at his home in Sg Buloh last Friday, followed by Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng and Seputeh member of parliament Teresa Kok.

Tan was freed last Saturday after being detained for 18 hours while Kok was released on Friday. -- Bernama

Press statement issued by Teresa Kok

Sept 19, 2008

The following is the press statement issued by Teresa Kok who was released after being detained for seven days under the ISA.

I have been released after being detained in solitary confinement in a 6-by-8 holding cell for seven days under the Internal Security Act (ISA). I was informed by the police that they detained me under section 73(1) of Internal Security Act 1960, which means I have incited racial and religious tension and conflict.

After being detained for seven days under the guise of so-called investigations, the police failed to produce any evidence or proof of me being involved in the activities of causing racial and religious tension. They were only able to ask me few questions based entirely on the false and malicious article written by Zaini Hassan under the topic ‘Azan, Jawi, JAIS, UiTM dan ba-alif-ba-ya’ that was published in Utusan Malaysia on Sept 10, 2008.

The three main questions that the investigation officers asked me were:

1. whether I have mobilised a group of residents at Bandar Kinrara to present a petition to oppose to the azan at the Bandar Kinrara mosque;

2. whether I have made a statement that 30 percent of the Selangor Islamic Department (JAIS) allocation is to be given to other non-Islam religious bodies; and

3. whether I have opposed to the Jawi-wording road signages in Kuala Lumpur.

I denied the first two accusations as I did not do any such things as accused. I also told them that the issue of opposing Jawi road signages in Kuala Lumpur were done in January/February 2008 at the request and following the pressure of resident associations.

The resident associations, particularly in Taman Seputeh, were most unhappy because many of the road signages were changed arbitrarily by DBKL a few months before and changed again soon after, this time with Jawi wordings. They were strongly opposed to this kind of wastage of public funds by DBKL.

I was quite surprised that there were no other questions posed to me besides these few main questions.

The ISA is meant to detain people who threaten national security. The three issues stated above have nothing to do with national security. If the police wanted to carry out investigation on me, they can always ask me to give statements in any of the police station and there was absolutely no need to detain me under the ISA for seven days. This is a phenomenal abuse of the power of police under the ISA.

Besides, it is nonsensical for the police to detain me under the ISA merely based on the unsubstantiated article written by an irresponsible columnist in Utusan Malaysia. How can they regard that article as the gospel truth without investigating the writer in the first place? How can Utusan Malaysia publish it without verifying the facts?

I wish to ask the police whether they have called Zaini and Utusan Malaysia's editors for questioning before and after my detention.

I know that the imam of Bandar Kinrara mosque has publicly denied that I was involved in the Puchong residents petition against azan of his mosque on Sept 13. I am also quite surprised to read in the New Straits Times dated Sept 19 that the official of the Bandar Kinrara mosque was called by the Dang Wangi police for statement recording only yesterday afternoon.

Why did the police do it so late, one week after I was arrested? Why didn't they check their facts first before they arrest me and put me behind bars?

I see my detention as a ploy by Umno to try to cover up the embarrassment and the outrage of the racist statements made by (ex-Bukit Bendera Umno division chief) Ahmad Ismail in Penang. I wonder why did they choose an innocent person like me as I have never made any racist statements or racist speeches in the past?

I have lodged the police report on Sept 17, 2008 against Utusan Malaysia, Zaini and Dr Mohd Khir Toyo for criminal defamation. I would therefore urge the police to investigate Utusan Malaysia's editors, those racist bloggers and Khir Toyo under the Penal Code.

As I have mentioned in my previous lawyer's visit, I will sue Utusan Malaysia, Zaini and Khir Toyo. I have also instructed my lawyers to sue the Malaysian government for my unlawful arrest and detention.

As I am free from ISA detention today, I also call for the release of Raja Petra Kamarudin, the Hindraf Five and all other 60 over detainees under the draconian ISA.

I would also like to thank all politicians in the ruling parties as well as in the Pakatan Rakyat, NGOs, churches and all social organisations who have campaigned and prayed for my release.

Seputeh MP
Selangor senior exco
Kinrara state assemblyperson

Teresa Kok released - Malaysiakini

Sep 19, 08 1:22pm

DAP Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was released unconditionally at 1pm today, after being held under the Internal Security Act for six days.

Kok walked out from the Jalan Travers police station at 1.40pm, accompanied by her lawyer Sankara Nair and her personal aide, Mandy Ooi.

She was greeted by her visibly elated parents.

Kok was immediately hugged her mother, Poon Seh Kwon, who gave her daughter a bunch of white and pink roses.

"I don't know what I've got into... I don't know what is the real reason (that) caused me to (be) put behind bars for one week," she told journalists outside the police station.

Kok, who is also the Selangor state executive council member, expressed that she was still slightly shaken but glad that she was released.

More news at: www.malaysiakini.com

Karpal sues Utusan for RM10mil - NST

KUALA LUMPUR, FRI: Sept 19, 2008

Bukit Gelugor Member of Parliament Karpal Singh has filed a RM10 million suit against Utusan Melayu (M) Sdn Bhd over a defamatory article on his comments on Islam.
The writ of summons was filed at the Civil High Court registry in the Jalan Duta Court Complex today through his law firm, Karpal Singh & Co.

In his statement of claim, Karpal, who is also a lawyer, claimed the article entitled “DAP diingat jangan bakar perasaan Melayu” (DAP reminded not to inflame sentiments of Malays) published last Aug 25, had stated that he made the comments on Islam in his welcoming speech at the 15th DAP National Congress held on the previous day (Aug 24).

He claimed the defamatory words were understood to mean, among others, that Karpal was a politician bent on creating ill-will among the different communities in the country, was absolutely false and malicious and were intended to destroy his professional and political careers.

The Democratic Action Party (DAP) national chairman said he had consistently maintained in his public speeches and during his membership of Parliament in the Dewan Rakyat for the last 26 years that Islam was the official religion of the country as provided under Article 3 (1) of the Federal Constitution.
Karpal said he gave notice to Utusan for retraction and apology without prejudice to his right to commence legal proceedings against the Bahasa Malaysia daily newspaper.

He stated that it would be in Utusan’s best interests to comply with his demand for mitigation purposes on damages which could ultimately be ordered against the newspaper by the court.

He said Utusan complied with his demand and had published an article entitled “Ralat” on Aug 26, retracting and giving its unconditional apology to him and accepted that the words complained of, had no basis.

Karpal noted that the publication of the defamatory words by Utusan on the eve of the polling day of the Permatang Pauh by-election parliamentary seat was to defame him in his capacity as a Pakatan Rakyat coalition leader, with a view to ensure that de facto Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim lost in the by-election.

He sought RM10 million in general damages, aggravated damages, exemplary damages, interest, costs and any relief deemed proper by the court.

GUAN ENG: Anwar a threat only to BN - NST

GEORGE TOWN: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said yesterday Malaysians generally did not think that Pakatan Raykat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was a threat to the nation.
He said the people of Permatang Pauh especially liked Anwar and that was why they elected him in the by-election on Aug 26.

"Of course, Anwar is a threat but only to Barisan Nasional and Umno. He is also a threat to the position of the prime minister."

Lim, the Penang chief minister, was asked to comment on Prime Minister Da-tuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's statement that Anwar was creating a negative effect on the government and the economy.

Lim congratulated Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for being appointed as the finance minister and Abdullah for taking over the Defence Ministry.
"I look forward to a constructive working relationship with him (Najib)."

He added that he would seek an appointment with Najib to brief the latter on areas in which the Federal and state governments could work together.

FREED: Teresa Kok relates her one-week ordeal - NST

KUALA LUMPUR, FRI: Sept 19, 2008

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok who was detained under ISA has been released. The assemblyman for Kinrara was arrested at 11.20pm last Friday believed to be over a religious matter concerning a mosque.

Kok called her counsel N. Sankara Nair at 1pm while she was being transported from Bukit Aman to the Travers Police Station.
Sankara met her there.

They are now on their way to DAP headquarters where she will hold a press conference at 3.30pm.

In a phone interview with the NST moments ago, Kok related her ordeal.

“They kept questioning me about the article (Utusan’s article ). I kept denying it," she said. “How can I be considered a national security threat?

"Till today, I don’t know why I was held under the ISA.”
It was a totally ridiculous stuation. Nobody should be held under the ISA,” she told NST.

Utusan Malaysia’s Sept 10 article entitled "Azan, Jawi, JAIS dan ba-alif ba-ya" accused Kok of petitioning a mosque to reduce the volume for azan.

She had vehemently denied the allegation.

Dr M: No justification for arrest of bloggers, Teresa - Star

PUTRAJAYA: Sept 19, 2008

There is no justification for the arrest of bloggers Raja Petra Kamarudin and Syed Azidi Syed Abdul Aziz, better known as Kickdefella, and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The former prime minister condemned the use of the Internal Security Act (ISA) against Raja Petra, who is the editor of controversial online news portal Malaysia Today, and Kok, a Selangor executive councillor and Seputeh MP.

Syed Azidi was detained for sedition on Wednesday for posting allegedly seditious statements in his blog.

Dr Mahathir said Kok’s arrest was not justified as there was no security reason at the moment but the Government could arrest her later for such a purpose if necessary.

He said if Kok was involved in trying to stop the azan (call for prayers), there should be an explanation that the subject was not something she should talk about.

Asked if he would agree for the ISA to be amended, he said there was no amendment during his time as the people who were enforcing it refused to amend it.

He said this to reporters after launching his book chedet.com Blogging to unblock at the Perdana Leadership Foundation here yesterday.

On him rejoining Umno, Dr Mahathir said he would wait for the right time to submit his application.

Teresa Kok released from ISA detention - Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Sept 19, 2008

Picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was released from detention under the Internal Security Act at about 1pm on Friday, her lawyer Sankara Nair said.

He said she had called him and he was now on the way to the Jalan Travers police station here to meet her.

Kok, 44, is expected to give a press conference at the DAP headquarters in Petaling Jaya at 3pm.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said that she had been released at 1.30pm after investigations showed there was no reason to detain her any further.

She was released unconditionally.

The Kinrara assemblyman and senior Selangor state executive councillor was detained one week ago, together with Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin and Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng.

Tan was released after 18 hours.

Kok was detained because she was considered a potential threat to national security for "racial incitement" after she was accused of petitioning a mosque to reduce the volume for azan (the call to prayer), something which she had vehemently denied.

The accusation surfaced in a Sept 10 article in Utusan Malaysia quoting former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.

The accusation was refuted by the Kinrara mosque committee chairman and Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah had lodged a police report against Dr Mohd Khir on this issue.

Kok also lodged a police report against the Malay daily, its columnist Zaini Hassan and Dr Mohd Khir.

“I believe one of the excuses for my ISA detention is in relation to that article and I place Utusan Malaysia, Zaini Hassan and Dr Mohd Khir Toyo responsible for my arrest,” she had stated in her police report.

On Monday, Kok filed a habeas corpus application in the High Court for her release citing that her arrest and detention under the Internal Security Act was unlawful.

Sankara said then that the court had fixed Sept 23 for hearing but said they would apply for Sept 22 instead as he had another case and Karpal Singh would be in East Malaysia on that date.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

24-hour remand for blogger Kickdefella - Star


Police on Thursday obtained a 24-hour remand order for blogger Syed Azidi Syed Aziz, better known as Sheih Kickdefella, who is under investigation for posting allegedly seditious statements on his blog.

He was brought to court around 1pm under escort by two burly plainclothes policemen in an unmarked four wheel drive vehicle.

Handcuffed, Syed Azidi who is an employee of the Kelantan Mentri Besar Incorporated firm, smiled and waved to a small group of supporters led by PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa at the magistrate’s court.

He is schedule to be brought to Kuala Lumpur later for further investigations under Section 4 (1) of the Sedition Act.

It is believed that the investigations are centred on his blog post calling for people to fly the national flag upside down as a protest to certain Federal Government policies and its leadership.

According to his wife Bariah Ishak, her husband looked pale and his lips were dry so she was worried because he suffers from low sugar levels.

”He is cautious about his food intake because his mother is a diabetic so I hope the police would consider his condition and perhaps offer him a carbonated drink when he breaks fast.”

Bariah, 37, said in the few moments she had to speak with him, Syed Azidi informed that he only received two packets of plain water besides some food since he was detained on Wednesday at the couple’s home in Demit.

The couple have four young children who have not been told of their father’s arrest but merely told that he has to travel to Kuala Lumpur.

Husam who is a close friend of the blogger, later told a press conference that this detention was a form of selective prosecution and that it was to intimidate bloggers active in cyberspace.

He would appoint lawyers to fight any charges posed against Syed Azidi.

State Deputy CPO SAC (II) Amir Hamzah Hussin said he was informed that the blogger would be brought to Kuala Lumpur since the police report concerning seditious statements was lodged there.

It is also learnt that the police have seized his laptop and several compact dics from his home.

RM1,000 fine each for 27 Hindraf supporters - Star


Twenty-seven men who admitted to failing to disperse from the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) unlawful assemblies around the city on Nov 25 last year despite police order to do so were fined RM1,000 each.

They have to serve three weeks in jail in default of the payment.

In sentencing the group Thursday, sessions court judge Akhtar Tahir said he had considered mitigating factors such as their guilty pleas which had saved the court substantive time and costs.

“The fact that they have pleaded guilty after 12 witnesses were called to testify (only) indicates that they have shown remorse for their actions,” he said.

Akhtar said he also considered the fact that the 27 men did not show actual violence at the assemblies and were first-time offenders.

“I conclude that the number of days they had present in court during the trial is also punishment for them,” he said.

Akhtar added that he had taken into account that an illegal assembly however peaceful is a serious offence as it had disturbed public order and endangered public property.

“I feel that it is not necessary for a jail term to be imposed on them. On the other hand, the sentence of fine has to be substantial so that it will not be a slap on the wrist but will teach them a lesson,” he said.

The judge said the fine would be a punishment for the group as they faced financial difficulty.

Akhtar said he had considered their admission to the first charge for being members of the unlawful assembly due to the defence’s team representation to the Attorney-General’s Chambers earlier.

53 people, comprising mostly odd-job workers and labourers, had claimed trial to the second charge of continuing to be in an unlawful assembly knowing that there was an order to disperse.

On Thursday, 45 men and a woman aged between 21 and 62 turned up for the continuation of the two-week trial.

Of the figure, 27 admitted to the charge. Five people who were on medical leave were absent while two people had been issued arrest warrants.

Pleading for leniency earlier, Chairman of the Criminal Practice Committee of the KL Bar Datuk N.Sivananthan argued that his clients had saved the court cost and time in view of the 200 subpoenas which had been issued for the case.

He said the group did not have any motive to create problems or protest but merely wanted to submit a petition to Queen Elizabeth through the British High Commmission over compensation for Indians.

Sivananthan said the two or three nights served under remand after their arrest itself was a bitter experience and punishment for them.

He said the two weeks’ trial had also resulted in many losing their jobs and income.

DPP Amir Nasruddin pressed for a deterrent sentence saying that their refusal to disperse after an order was given showed their intention to commit the offence.

The prosecutor said the court had to consider public interest.

“The assembly itself had caused disturbance to road users including the public transport system,” he added.

Akhtar set Tuesday to hear the case against the 26 people who faced similar charges after Sivananthan said he believed more people would plead guilty to the charges that day.

Sivananthan said four people had settled their fines while the remaining had paid a minimum of RM50 each and agreed to settle the difference within two months due to his application to the judge.

Anwar wants Parliament to meet by Sept 23 - Star

PETALING JAYA: Sep 18, 2008

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claims he sent a letter to the Prime Minister on Thursday requesting him to call an emergency Parliament session no later that Sept 23 to deliberate on a vote of no-confidence against Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s leadership.

The letter was jointly signed by him as the PKR leader, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, he said at a press conference at the PKR headquarters here Thursday afternoon.

“We will convene an emergency meeting if there is no response from the Prime Minister.

“And we won’t reveal the 31 names (of the MPs crossing over) unless the Prime Minister categorically assures that MPs are given their chance to appear (in Parliament) next Tuesday (Sept 23) to give their vote in the motion of ‘no-confidence’ against the PM,” he added.

Anwar also did not discount the possibility of seeking an audience with the King as one of the options Pakatan would take if Abdullah fails to convene an emergency Parliament session.

He added he found the Prime Minister’s comment that he was a threat to national and economic security as “reckless and irresponsible in light of the disastrous outcome of last Friday’s ISA raids.”

When asked if he was concerned about being arrested under the ISA, Anwar said there was no reason why he should be arrested.

“Furthermore, the PM and Home Minister have assured there would be no more arrests,” he said.

The Opposition leader and Permatang Pauh MP also told reporters that he has been in touch with SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

The Sabah party announced on Wednesday that it was pulling out of Barisan Nasional but would not be joining Pakatan Rakyat.

Yong had said SAPP would remain independent in the Opposition bench until a time came when the party was ready to be back in government.

On Tuesday, Anwar claimed that he had enough lawmakers to form a new government but has officially delayed the takeover deadline.

He said he was prepared to delay the deadline in the interest of a smooth transition of power.

He said he was also ready to show Abdullah Ahmad Badawi the list of Barisan Nasional MPs defecting over to Pakatan Rakyat should Abdullah grant him a meeting.

“The numbers are increasing by the hour, but as of now, it is in excess of 31 MPs, This is not empty talk. I am fully responsible for my statement but we have choose to be patient and use the conciliatory way,” Anwar had told a packed press conference at the PKR headquarters.

The Opposition Leader said he would even give Abdullah the list of names of Barisan MPs wanting to defect at their meeting.

“I am appealing in the name of political stability and smooth transition. It will be preposterous for the Prime Minister to deny me this meeting. He has no choice but to negotiate since we have the numbers,” said Anwar.

Asked why he still refused to give the exact number of defecting MPs, or their names, Anwar replied there was fear the MPs would be detained or harassed.

Pressed for a deadline for the meeting, Anwar said he did not like to give any ultimatum but it should be within these few days or other options would be considered.

Asked if he would seek an audience with the King and present himself as commanding majority in Parliament, or would he seek a no-confidence motion against Abdullah at the next Parliament sitting in October, Anwar was non-committal and said such options would be discussed at the highest leadership level in Pakatan.

Full statement by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim - Star

Sept 18, 2008

Today Pakatan Rakyat leaders have submitted a letter to the Prime Minister requesting him to call an emergency session of Parliament to deliberate a motion of censure against the leadership of YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi no later than Tuesday 23 September 2008.

This is in accordance with Order 11(3) of the Standing Orders of Parliament and warrants an immediate response given the gravity of today’s political impasse. A delay in his response would be interpreted as nothing short of a further sabotage of the democratic process and abuse of Executive Power.

The Prime Minister’s haggling on the syntax of our first letter is puerile at best. The intent of our meeting as described in that letter was clearly to discuss the future course of the nation’s leadership – though in deference to his position and in accordance with acceptable norms we remain considerate and polite in our approach.

I find the Prime Minister’s comment about me in his press conference yesterday to be reckless and irresponsible in light of the disastrous outcome of last Friday’s ISA raids.

He has conflated what is essentially an issue of democracy, freedom and the rule of law with national security. The use of the ISA to harass and detain duly elected political opponents is a grave transgression of the law and its continued use would further erode confidence in the current government and exacerbate political instability.

As the incumbent Prime Minister actively holding office and exercising all Executive powers, and as the outgoing Finance Minister, we hold him fully accountable for the current political turmoil and mismanagement of the nation’s economy. His accusation that I have had an adverse impact on the nation’s economy is entirely without basis.

I have met with the key fund managers in the region, representing over US$1 trillion in assets, and on multiple occasions they were unanimously in support of comprehensive reforms in Malaysia including judicial independence, a free media, a more professional police force and anti-corruption agency, investor friendly laws and assurances on the non-interference of politicians in the governance of Bank Negara. These are policies Pakatan Rakyat has promised to implement– and initiatives that the current administration has done virtually nothing to advance since March 8th.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Parliamentary caucus set up to free Teresa - Star


Pakatan Rakyat MPs have formed a ‘Free MP Teresa Kok Parliamentary Caucus’ with the support of Barisan Nasional’s Senator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

The purpose of the caucus is to seek solutions for an immediate and unconditional release of Kok from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The caucus is co-chaired by Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang (DAP adviser), Gombak MP Azmin Ali (PKR vice-president) and Tumpat MP Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar (PAS secretary-general).

Lim said the caucus planned to meet Deputy Inspector General Tan Sri Ismail Omar for permission to visit Kok.

He also said they would write to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly for support.

He added that they would move an emergency motion on the detention of Kok when Parliament reconvenes on Oct 13.

“We will continue to get international pressure for her release.

“The main objective of the caucus is to free Kok but the larger objective is also for all ISA detainees to be freed,” he told reporters Wednesday after forming the caucus in Parliament here.

Forty-nine opposition MPs turned up at the meeting and they gave a standing ovation to Zaid when he walked in.

Zaid, who recently quit his post as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of law, said he supported the caucus because he was very concerned with the use of the ISA.

He said the ISA should be used against violent people or those who wanted to overthrow the Government by force for a limited period instead of against politicians or journalists.

“We use the ISA for political purpose, this is what we mean by abuse.

“Whoever is in power will abuse it as long as it’s up to their satisfaction,” he said.

Zaid also remarked that he knew Kok personally as she was his secretary when he was the president for Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus.

“I cannot, for the life of me, see her as anti-Islam, anti-Malay, anti-anything ... she’s a wonderful lady,” he said, adding that he could not understand how Kok could be a threat to national security.

Other opposition party leaders who were present, including PKR secretary-general Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and DAP national chairman Karpal Singh also called for the ISA to be repealed.

Tukar portfolio, talian hayat Abdullah/Umno - Mahfuz - Harakah

SEREMBAN, 17 Sept (Hrkh) Oleh Wan Nordin Wan Yaacob

Pertukaran portfolio yang diumumkan Perdana Menteri, Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi hari ini disifatkan sebagai satu lagi kaedah Abdullah menyelamatkan dirinya dan Umno.

Demikian kata Ketua Penerangan PAS, Mahfuz Omar ketika dihubungi Harakhdaily hari ini bagi mengulas senario kekalutan Abdullah merombak kabinet serta-merta.

Bernama melaporkan, Abdullah dan Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak hari ini bertukar portfolio Menteri Pertahanan dan Kewangan sebagai sebahagian daripada proses penyerahan kuasa daripada Perdana Menteri kepada timbalannya itu pada Jun 2010.

Kedua-dua pemimpin juga komited dengan tempoh peralihan kuasa seperti yang ditetapkan sebelum ini, dan untuk pemilihan Umno pada Disember ini, Abdullah akan mempertahankan jawatan Presiden Umno dan Najib sebagai Timbalan Presiden parti.

Mengulas lanjut perkembangan itu, Mahfuz menyifatkan Abdullah merombak kabinet hanya kerana bimbang dengan senario dalaman Umno yang tidak menyebelahinya.

Malah pelan peralihan kuasa yang dirancang Abdullah-Najib tidak diterima kalangan Bahagian Umno, dan ini sedikit sebanyak menggoyahkan kedudukan Abdullah, katanya.

Mengapa Abdullah pegang pertahanan?

Selain itu ujar Mahfuz, terdapat kebimbangan dengan tindakan Abdullah mengambil portfolio pertahanan dari Najib kerana ini katanya mungkin untuk mempergunakan kementerian itu sebagai talian hayatnya.

"Saya bimbang dengan kedudukan Abdullah di Pertahanan yang memungkinkan penggunaan tentera jika keadaan mendesak tatkala mereka juga bimbang dengan senario perubahan kerajaan yang diusahakan Pakatan Rakyat," ujarnya.

Walaupun pada 16 September perubahan tidak berlaku, tetapi Abdullah sendiri bimbang dnegan ebarang kemungkinan dalam masa terdekat bahawa perubahan itu akan berlaku juga, kata Mahfuz.

Mahfuz juga menempelak kelemahan Abdullah yang baginya tidak bertanggungjawab terhadap portfolio lamanya sebagai Menteri kewangan selepas membentangkan Belanjawan 2009 yang belum sempat dibahas di Parlimen.

Tidak fikir hal rakyat

Akhirnya, kata Mahfuz Najib pula yang terpaksa menggalas tanggungjawab yang ditinggalkan Abdullah kerana kelemahan Abdullah sendiri.

"Ini satu signal jelas kepada rakyat bahawa kelemahan Abdullah sudah berada dikemuncaknya, dan perlu segera pertukaran kerajaan dilakukan, kata Mahfuz.

Mahfuz juga mempertikai keenganan kerajaan menurunkan harga minyak tatkala harga minyak dunia kini turun kepada USD 92 setong, dan janji kerajaan untuk menurunkan harga minyak hanya palsu.

"Ini semua kerana Abdullah tidak memikirkan hal rakyat, tetapi hanya fikir selamatkan diri sendiri," katanya.

Terdahulu, Abdullah yang bercakap pada sidang akhbar yang turut dihadiri oleh Najib di Putrajaya ini, berkata portfolio kewangan adalah penting dalam mengambil kira situasi ekonomi semasa dan ketidaktentuan ekonomi dunia.

Katanya beliau yakin Najib akan dapat melaksanakan peranannya yang amat penting itu terutama dalam memastikan ekonomi teguh dan kuat menghadapi cabaran.

Abdullah berkata dengan kedudukan Najib sebagai Menteri Kewangan kini, beliau (Najib) boleh memainkan peranan yang lebih penting apabila berada di New York untuk menghadiri Persidangan Pertubuhan Bangsa Bersatu (PBB) minggu depan.

Ini kerana, sebagai Menteri Kewangan, Najib akan dapat menemui pelabur dan pengurus dana semasa di New York nanti, kata Perdana Menteri.

Abdullah turut mengumumkan Najib kini mengambil alih jawatan Timbalan Pengerusi Khazanah sejajar dengan kedudukannya sebagai Menteri Kewangan. Jawatan itu sebelum ini disandang oleh Abdullah.

Ganti Abdullah kelak

Najib pula berkata langkah Perdana Menteri melantiknya sebagai Menteri Kewangan menggambarkan keikhlasan Abdullah bahawa beliau adalah penggantinya kelak.

"Ia melambangkan keyakinan Perdana Menteri pada saya sebab saya akan sentiasa bincang dan rujuk pada Perdana Menteri, khususnya berkaitan dengan ekonomi, hala tuju ekonomi dan keutamaan ekonomi, supaya dasar-dasar kerajaan lebih jelas dan tepat," kata Najib.

Ditanya mengenai penurunan harga minyak mentah dunia sekarang, Abdullah berkata: "Lagi turun lagi baik."

Harga minyak mentah dunia semalam mencatatkan US$92 setong.

Bagaimanapun Abdullah berkata penurunan harga minyak dunia itu juga akan menyebabkan pengurangan pendapatan Petronas.

Ditanya sama ada harga pengguna bagi petrol dan diesel akan dikurangkan, Abdullah berkata: "Tunggulah lain kali." _

Abdullah: SAPP is just a nuisance - Sun

PUTRAJAYA (Sept 17, 2008) :

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said it was apt that the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) left the Barisan Nasional (BN) as it was a only a nuisance to the coalition.

"They are only a problem in the party and a nuisance. Let them go, it's okay," he said when met at a breaking of the fast function with Cabinet ministers, menteris besar, chief ministers and deputy ministers at the home of Deputy Prime Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak here tonight.

He said this when asked to comment about the decision by the SAPP to pull out of the BN at its Supreme Council meeting in Kota Kinabalu today.

On the same issue, Najib said the decision by the SAPP was no surprise as it had been expected.

SAPP, he said, had actually hoped to be expelled from the BN but now had "jumped the gun".

"This development will not affect the BN in any way and we won't be doing a post-mortem on it," he said. -- BERNAMA

PM: Anwar a threat to economy and maybe safety - Sun

PUTRAJAYA (Sept 17, 2008):

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today described Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as a "threat to the nation's economy and maybe safety".

He accused Anwar of deceiving the public by saying one thing and doing another, and of berating the country to the extent of discouraging investors.

Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting yesterday, Abdullah said: "We are facing inflation and in the midst of this, what Anwar is doing has resulted in fund managers discouraging investors from investing in Malaysia due to the uncertain political scenario.

"By talking about changing governments, Anwar has muddled the economy as some investors have been advised to stay away from the country for the next 10 years, and to wait and see where the country is headed. What he is doing has affected the government, the economy and workers."

Asked what he planned to do about this situation, Abdullah would only say that whatever he would do would be in the best interest of the country.

He said this would sending out trade missions to meet with investors.

"It’s not that we don’t have foreign direct investments (FDI) as many investors are coming in even now, and (Malaysia) is a preferred choice amongst many investors," he said. "The one saying that we are losing FDI is Anwar alone. He doesn’t read, he is ignorant about this."

He said it was Anwar’s character to tell people certain things and expect them to accept it.

He said Anwar's accusation that Malaysia has no competitive edge is untrue as Malaysia's competitiveness has improved from 23 to 19 (in the World Competitiveness Index).

"He is just exploiting people’s trust in him at the moment, and is doing nothing to help them -- even when he is out of the country, he puts down the nation," he said.

About Anwar’s pledge to turn the ailing economy around, and to reduce fuel prices, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said: "Anwar has failed to deliver a lot of his promises. Even though he knew he did not have the numbers, he continued to lie to the public that he would form the government on Sept 16, and has continued to lie to the public about the content of his letter (to Abdullah). So please don’t hold on to his promise too much."

Najib said as chairman of the investment committee, he knew the number of investments in the country this year was maybe more than last year. However, he is concerned that Anwar’s political game will affect the numbers coming in.

NIK AZIZ: Anwar will succeed in his plan - NST

KOTA BARU: Sept 17, 2008

Kelantan Men-teri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat is still confident that Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will succeed in his plan to form the Federal Government.

Nik Aziz said the Sept 16 date was just a "technical" point when told that Anwar had failed to honour his claim that he would be in charge on this date.

"His failure today is nothing... He did not lie to the people as he had tried his best but his efforts were curtailed by others," Nik Aziz said.

"I support the move to form a new government at the federal level. I will pray that Anwar's effort will succeed."

Nik Aziz was responding to questions from reporters after launching the 18th anniversary of the Tabung Serambi Mekah.

On the opposition's move to get Barisan Nasional MPs to jump the party, he said it was allowed under democracy and followed regulations.

Teresa lodges report against Utusan, columnist and Khir Toyo - Star


ISA detainee Teresa Kok has lodged a police report against Utusan Melayu Sdn Bhd, its columnist Zaini Hassan and former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo for criminal defamation over the azan issue.

The Seputeh MP’s lawyer Sankara Nair lodged the police report on her behalf at the Travers Police Station at 4.10pm Wednesday after meeting her at the Bukit Aman police headquarters.

Teresa was accused of petitioning a mosque to reduce the volume for azan, something which she had vehemently denied previously. The two mosques had also stated she was not involved.

According to the police report, Zaini’s Sept 10 article in Utusan Malaysia entitled Azan, Jawi, JAIS, UiTM dan ba-alif-ba-ya referred to Kok and contained baseless accusations against her.

“I strongly deny all accusations contained in the article. It is not true,” she said in the report.

The accusations were also refuted by the Kinrara mosque committee chairman and Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah had lodged a police report against Dr Mohd Khir on this issue, she said.

Attached to the police report were Zaini’s article and two articles from online news portal Malaysiakini (www.Malaysiakini.com) entitled Kok not involved in azan petition, says mosque and Report lodged against Khir Toyo for stirring up azan.

“I am making this police report to protect myself as an MP, a Selangor state assemblyman and as a Selangor state executive councillor.

“I believe one of the excuses for my ISA detention is in relation to that article and I place Utusan Malaysia, Zaini Hassan and Dr Mohd Khir Toyo responsible for my arrest,” she stated in the report.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Sankara said Kok had asked him to file more action and did not discount lodging more police reports including against the Government for Kok’s ISA detention.

On Monday, Kok filed a habeas corpus application in the High Court for her release citing that her arrest and detention under the Internal Security Act was unlawful.

Sankara said the court had fixed Sept 23 for hearing but said they would apply for Sept 22 instead as he had another case and Karpal Singh would be in East Malaysia on that date.

Besides Karpal Singh and Sankara, Kok would also be represented by Gobind Singh Deo and Param Cumaraswamy.

“Four of us have applied to see her this Friday as we need to prepare for the hearing. We will go all out to fight this case,” Sankara said.

On the letter of demand sent to Utusan Malaysia on Tuesday, Sankara said the daily sent them a letter on Wednesday asking for more time to reply.

Meanwhile, City CID Chief Senior Asst Comm II Ku Chin Wah confirmed that the police had received the report but declined to state which Section the report would be classified under.

‘Barisan will receive backlash from people over ISA detentions’ - Star

PASIR PUTEH: Sept 17, 2008

PAS is predicting that Barisan Nasional would receive a huge backlash from the people over the use of the Internal Security Act (ISA) on blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok.

The backlash would manifest itself either at the next general election or perhaps in the internal elections of the Barisan component parties.

There would be a migration of support more intense than in the last general election, PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa claims.

”It has become a messy form of governance. Everything from economic to security management and the people are angry,” he said after presenting aid to two-year-old Asraff Abdul Malik who suffers from a heart ailment.

The lad resides at Kampung Kolam Tembusu near Selising here.

The entire integrity and credibility of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s cabinet and Government is now under threat because it has chosen to continue detaining the two individuals.

The police and Abdullah have also not come out with a convincing reason for detaining both and it is made worst when several cabinet ministers questioned why ISA was used now, Husam said.

Husam, who is also a senior state executive councillor, said to best illustrate it, the resignation of former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim was a telling factor for the Government to release the two detainees.

”We hope the Government is humanitarian on this aspect and gauge the sentiment on the ground about ISA. PAS would gain from any misgivings about the stature of a Barisan-led Government but we are more concerned about the fate of the two detainees for now,” Husam said. On Kuala Pilah MP Datuk Hasan Malek’s claims that he was offered money and a post as inducement to join the Opposition, Husam urged the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to investigate the claims.

”We want to see who is lying on this matter. The ACA should be stern and punish those who offer and those who receive bribes.”

On Pakatan Rakyat’s efforts to oust Barisan and form the next government since the Sept 16 deadline has now passed, Husam said PAS is convinced that Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has the numbers and it is just a matter of time.

”It may not have been Sept 16 but it can be on any other date.”

The names of the defecting MPs are there and PAS would continue to back Anwar in his quest to topple the present Government by peaceful and diplomatic terms, paving a way for a coalition which truely represents the aspirations of the people, Husam said.

SAPP pulls out of Barisan - Star

KOTA KINABALU: Sept 17, 2008

Finally rebellious Sabah Progressive Party has pulled out of Barisan Nasional after a four-hour supreme council meeting.

Except for two opposing the move, 30 of the 32 who attended Wednesday’s meeting backed party chief Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

Yong said his party will remain independent but will work with anyone and be in consultation with various parties including Pakatan Rakyat.

“We are not applying to join Pakatan Rakyat until the time comes when SAPP is ready to be back in government,” he told reporters Wednesday after chairing the meeting at the party’s headquarters in Luyang here.

SAPP’s two MPs - Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun (Sepangar) and Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui (Tawau) - and two of its four assemblymen are with Yong. They are Melanie Chia (Luyang) and Datuk Liew Teck Chan (Likas).

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan, who is deputy president and Tanjung Papat assemblyman, with Elopura assemblymen Au Kam Wah have disassociated themselves from Yong.

Tan and SAPP vice-president Jimmy Wong opposed the pullout at the meeting while Au did not attend.

Walking out of the 2pm meeting half an hour before it ended at 5pm, Tan said that there was no proper basis to leave Barisan and the decision was not rational.

“I am from Sandakan and the signals from there are quite clear,” he said, adding that he would be meeting Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman to submit his resignation from the state cabinet.

Tan, who claimed that Au had resigned through a text message to Yong, said that he will be making a decision within the next 24 hours on his position in SAPP and whether he will be joining a Barisan component party or forming a new party.

When contacted, Au said that he has yet to tender his resignation letter and will announce what he intends to do on Thursday. SAPP joined Sabah Barisan Nasional in 1994.

Yong's press statement in full - Malaysiakini

Sept 17, 08 5:10pm

The following is the press statement given by Sabah Progressive Party president Yong Teck Lee at 4.30pm after the party’s supreme council meeting at the Sapp headquarters in Kota Kinabalu.

1. The BN has lost its ‘BN spirit’. It was not that the people who did not want the BN, it was the BN who abandoned the people. In spite of repeated appeals from some BN members to other BN leaders to be more sensitive to the peoples' feelings, these leaders continue to treat the people with contempt. Perhaps after 50 years of uninterrupted government, some BN leaders have got it in their heads that they have a divine right to rule.

On March 8, the people had spoken out loud and clear. The BN paid a heavy price. But yet the BN refuses to learn. The ruthless increase in fuel prices on June 4 and the failure to tackle inflation and economic slowdown have dealt a severe blow to ordinary people. The recent blatant abuse of the ISA against an innocent journalist, an MP and a blogger only confirms that the BN leadership has not learned from their mistakes.

The shameful Taiwan trip by 49 BN MPs and the instigation of racial animosities have aggravated the collapse of confidence among the people and leaders, not only on the PM but the BN as well.

The PM's Budget 2009 was totally uninspiring and has already been discredited even before it was debated in Parliament. The BN has lost its moral authority to rule. Numerical majority in Parliament means little if the people no longer respect you.

3. Minister Zaid Ibrahim's resignation only confirms what many lawyers already knew that is that the prime minister and his government has never had the intention to reform the judiciary. Zaid's exposure about "the BN government being paralysed by internal strife and divisions" has also been known to many people in the BN. In many other countries, such paralysis of government will lead to fresh general elections.

4. The PM himself appeared drifting, not knowing what has been happening around him. Sapp has nothing personal against the PM and his family. None of the matters raised by Sapp concerns his person, his family, son, daughter, son-in-law or businesses. Sapp is only concerned about the issues affecting the country such as the need for good governance, the dangers of racial polarisation and injustice of economic imbalances to be tackled effectively.

5. Sapp hereby proudly dissociates ourselves from these shameful wrongdoings of the BN government. Sapp further believes that the BN is not capable of practicing good governance and non-racial politics; that BN has no intention in granting autonomy to Sabah, returning 20 percent of oil royalties and Labuan to Sabah, implement Borneonisation, review unfair federal laws and departments in Sabah, solve the illegal immigrants problems and remove social and economic imbalances.

The BN leadership even refused to recognise historical facts by denying Sept 16 as Malaysia Day, 45 years.

6. Sapp had only wanted to see that the legitimate rights of Sabah and the unfairness suffered by Malaysians in Sabah be given due attention with results. The BN must realise that, if not for Sabah and Sarawak, BN would be in the opposition today. But instead of sincerely working to solve the issues raised by Sapp, the BN has chosen to embark on a course of action to destroy Sapp.

The Sapp supreme council hereby condemns the attempts of BN operatives to destroy Sapp through divide-and-rule tactics and by abusing the economic resources of the BN state and federal governments aimed at instigating Sapp members and leaders to destroy Sapp.

7. As a matter of fact, by deliberately excluding Sapp from four consecutive meetings of the Dewan Tertinggi and two meetings of the management committee ever since the announcement of no confidence on the prime minister on June 18, the BN has effectively terminated the membership of Sapp. The Sapp supreme council hereby declares that Sapp is no longer a member of the Barisan Nasional coalition of parties.

8. Sapp is now free from the BN. Sapp shall henceforth use this freedom to pursue our autonomous political path to fulfill our mission to establish a trustworthy government and a progressive, just and harmonious society. We are no longer subservient to BN. We now have the master key to our own house. We shall build a brighter future for our people and the younger generations to come.

9. Sapp members who hold political appointments in the executive branch of government shall relinquish their posts by giving the due notice under the constitution and relevant rules and regulations, starting at the cabinet level.

10. With our experienced MPs, Aduns and other party colleagues, Sapp shall provide quality opposition in and outside the Parliament and State Legislative Assembly until the time comes when Sapp is ready to be back in government.

11. I call on our members to be brave. Do not despair. Remember that one of our party culture seven values is resilience. From the day we join the party, we knew that things can get very rough for us. Yes, together we shall overcome this difficult period because the people are with us. With the strong encouragement and support of the people, Sapp will succeed in our struggle.

12. In view of the current fasting month of Ramadan, Sapp shall only embark on a series of political activities two weeks after Hari Raya. We shall plan a road map to victory in future elections. We shall elaborate how we plan to achieve the eight-points declaration, namely:

(i) Good governance and non-racial politics

(ii) Autonomy for Sabah

(iii) 20 percent oil royalties

(iv) Return of Labuan

(v) Review of unfair laws and detrimental departments

(vi) Borneonisation of the federal civil service

(vii) Solution to the illegal immigrants issue

(viii) Redress economic and social imbalances