Thursday, April 30, 2009

Perak Pakatan reps to attend May 7 assembly - Star


Picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

IPOH: Perak Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen, including ousted mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, will attend the state assembly sitting on May 7.

Nizar however noted that the attendance would be under protest for the notices on the assembly sent out without the knowledge of Speaker V. Sivakumar.

“We will attend the assembly still, out of respect to the Speaker.

“We will be there to honour whatever decision the Speaker makes,” he told reporters after attending a briefing with Pakatan-elected village chiefs here Thursday.

Amongst the much-awaited decision is the seating arrangement in the House, which will be indicated by Sivakumar himself.

Nizar said that to date, the sitting arrangement practised previously would remain unchanged and Pakatan’s place was still on the right side of the Speaker, where the government of the day sits.

“As far as we know, the sitting arrangement is still status quo. However, this is still subject to any decision made by the Speaker to relocate the seats,” he said.

Nizar also said that Pakatan had not fielded any questions to the Barisan Nasional government for the usual question and answer session in the House.

As such, the session would be scrapped from the assembly agenda.

”We have no questions for them because questions are only posed to a legal government. ”We do not recognise this (Barisan) government,” he said.

Nizar also said that Pakatan would not respond to a recent notice sent by assembly secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri asking all assemblymen to propose a candidate to replace the Speaker.

The letter was sent in view of the possible success of a motion filed by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir to remove Sivakumar from the Speaker’s post.

“We will not respond to this because the Speaker is still valid,” he said.

On the motion, Nizar said that Sivakumar still reserved the right to reject it or allow it to be brought into the House.

“It is up to him to decide. Any state assemblyman has the right to file a motion but the Speaker decides whether to shelve it or bring it up for discussions,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nizar said he was unable to predict what would happen during the much-anticipated May 7 sitting and told reporters to be patient.

“On May 7, we will all have a nice cup of tea and go for breakfast with all the assemblymen.

“You are welcome to join us if you so wish. The rest, I do not know what will happen,” he jokingly told reporters.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Karpal sedition trial: Discharge bid fails - Star

April 28, 009 By LOH FOON FONG

KUALA LUMPUR: Karpal Singh failed in his application to get himself discharged from his sedition case after a High Court held that the written consent issued by the Public Prosecutor to prosecute him was not defective.

The veteran lawyer and politician had argued that the consent dated March 11 which only state that he had “said seditious words” was not adequate.

Judicial Commissioner Azman Abdullah, in rejecting the application, said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail’s written consent was similar to the ones often issued for cases which carried heavier sentences.

Azman was referring to cases where the whole general content was taken and not specific seditious words.

He pointed out in one case that the words were even more loosely phrased.

“Moreover, the consent in today’s case is signed by the Public Prosecutor himself and in terms of value, it is higher because it is made by him and not his deputy,” he said.

Karpal was alleged to have uttered seditious words during a media conference relating to Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah’s consent to remove Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the Mentri Besar.

He was said to have uttered those words at his law firm Messrs Karpal Singh & Co between noon and 12.30pm on Feb 6.

The DAP chairman, who acted for himself, submitted that words must be specified in a written consent and should state which is the part/parts under the six sedition tendencies under Section 3 (1) of the Sedition Act 1948.

Azman pointed out that in the case of Fan Yew Teng vs Public Prosecutor (1975), the Federal Court had decided that the charge under the Sedition Act 1948 was not defective although it did not cite which sedition tendency.

Azman set Aug 12 to begin the trial after Deputy Public Prosecutor Manoj Kurup said there were more than 40 witnesses who would testify in the case.

After the court adjourned, Karpal said he would appeal.

“It’s important to decide once and for all what written consent entails,” he said.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dewan Rakyat Speaker accepts Gobind's legal action - Sun

by Giam Say Khoon

KUALA LUMPUR (April 27, 2009) : Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia said today he accepts the legal action by Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, who was suspended by the House for a year for insulting the Speaker and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

"I accept the summon and I will answer it. Other than that, I wish not to comment on anything," he told reporters after meeting the lawmakers from Australia and Korea in his office in Parliament today.

Pandikar said everyone has the right to summon another person and that "there is no need for him to comment on the issue".

He said as Speaker, he only wants to do his job to ensure a smooth Parliament sitting.

"If such order cannot even be followed by the MPs, there is no need for the parliament to sit," he said.

"I do not wish to see the repeat of such incident when the parliament sitting resumes on June 16," he added.

Asked if he agreed with DAP chairman and Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh who said that the Federal Court’s decision two weeks ago in the suit brought against Perak Speaker V. Sivakumar had set a precedent for Gobind's suspension to be taken up to the apex court, Pandikar said since the suit was filed last week, it is now up to the court to interpret the "precedent".

Gobind was suspended on March 16 and filed a lawsuit last Thursday to seek declaration that the suspension was null, void and of no effect.

On a memorandum submitted by Wanita MCA and other non-governmental organisations proposing to the House to punish MPs who uttered sexist remarks, Pandikar said as it was a serious proposal to amend the Standing Orders so that MPs who violated the law will receive mandatory punishment.

He said the House had set up a committee to look into the feasibility of amending the Standing Orders.

On former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's seat in the chamber as he is still the Kepala Batas MP, Pandikar said the house may arrange him to sit together with veteran MPs like Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (BN-Gua Musang) and Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz (BN-Kuala Kangsar).

Earlier, Pandikar, who had officiated the first meeting of ASEAN inter-parliamentary assembly (Aipa) caucus, said the three-day meeting saw the participation of delegates from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei and Philippines except for Thailand.

In his speech, Pandikar said the caucus will provide a platform for regular interaction amongst Aipa member countries as well as special observers and also between the Aipa and ASEAN.

He said it was also mandated to monitor the implementation of Aipa resolutions especially in ensuring that the recommendations from the resolutions on further enhancing regional cooperation are conveyed to the governments of ASEAN countries.

"On the harmonisation of laws, two laws on combating the scourge of drug menace and human trafficking have been selected as a start... Admittedly this harmonisation exercise is not a simple task and it may take several caucus meetings before the areas of the laws to be harmonised can be firmed up and be presented for the consideration of ASEAN.

"Nonetheless, I am confident that the caucus will be able to find consensus on the guidelines and be successful in identifying the areas of the two selected laws that can be harmonised to facilitate regional cooperation in their enforcement," he said.

However, Pandikar said since it was the first meeting, the focus will be on the setting up of house such as to discuss and adopt the terms of reference of the caucus and to set the guidelines on the tasks assigned to the caucus.

Penanti by-election: Nomination on May 23; polling May 31 - Sun

by Maria J.Dass

PUTRAJAYA (April 27, 2009) : The Election Commission (EC) is gearing up for the sixth by-election to be held just a little more than a year after the March 2008 General Election in Penanti a constituency on Penang mainland. Nomination day is slated for May 23 while polling will be held on May 31.

The seat fell vacant following the resignation of its assemblyman Mohamad Fairuz who was also Penang Deputy Chief Minister I on April 16.

Mohamad Fairuz who was last week cleared of corruption allegations pertaining quarry operations in that state cited continuation of post graduate studies as his reason for leaving.

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof who announced this at the EC headquarters in Putrajaya today, said this time around, the commission means business in enforcing election regulations and laws- which if broken could lead to the winner losing his seat or a campaigner losing their voting rights for five years.

Abdul Aziz said police are empowered to arrest campaigners who do not adhere to the law.

“We are giving ample campaigning time from May 23 to 30 but on the eve of polling day - Stop it!” he said.

“This will allow for a conducive environment for voters to go out and vote in a calm and peaceful atmosphere and not worry about tense situations at polling centers,” Abdul Aziz said adding that election workers can still speak to passengers being ferried in their cars to polling centers.

“We cannot control this, and messages being sent through SMS and over the internet,” he said.

Abdul Aziz said this time around the EC will be strict in enforcing regulations pertaining campaigning on polling day and said that “pondok panas” or voters reference stations set up by political parties just outside polling centers will be banned.

Abdul Aziz’s deputy Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said: “If this law is breached- the candidate is responsible, and EC through the Returning Officer (RO) can charge the candidate for going against the law.”

“This is serious because it can nullify a victory for the candidate involved, while a campaigners can lose voting rights for five years,” he said.

“We have informed political parties of this ban in our recent meetings with them,” he added.

These “pondok panas” have become a campaigning hubs which have resulted in tense and chaotic atmospheres around polling centers,” Wan Ahmad said.

“The police and RO will be tasked to ensure no “pondok panas” are set up, we can stop them and this is provided for by law,” he said.

Abdul Aziz earlier admitted that the commission had been lax in enforcing this in the past though this is a regulation in the Election Act.

“Because in the past we don’t see the number of people getting bigger and bigger and the behaviour of people… I don’t know how to describe it- sometime they are like possessed, not conscious, in a trance,” he said.

When we chide them they say we are being emotional, but this happens because they are in high spirits and in large numbers, Abdul Aziz said that the general perception was that a large crowd demonstrated the strength of a party.

“The whole country turns up at these constituencies to campaign causing traffic congestion in the area and inconvenience to genuine voters,” he said.

Abdul Aziz earlier said it was not necessary for the “pondok panas” to be in existence as the EC had ample avenues for voters to check their details and polling stations.

He said the electoral roll will be out on May 8 and voters can check their details on the EC website at www.spr, or via SMS by typing: SPR SEMAK (MyKad no) and send to 15888.

Alternatively they can call the EC office in Putrajaya at 03-88856500 or in Penang at 04-2617692.

Abdul Aziz also dismissed insinuation that the delay in announcing the dates was to accommodate the decision and outcome of the Umno Supreme Council meeting held on Friday.

“There was no postponement to accommodate the outcome of this Umno meeting, we just needed time to make sure that the arrangements with the Returning Officer (RO) and his assistants were settled and then we met with the political parties and had to work on securing the needed venues and facilities,” he said.

Our announcement today has nothing to do with the Umno supreme council meeting, he added.

“The Election Act states that a writ on the vacancy of a seat is to be produced no earlier than four days and no later than 10 days from the official date of the vacancy, thus the timing of our announcement is permitted and provided for by the law,” Abdul Aziz said.

Seberang Perai Tengah district officer Roslan Yahaya has been named as the RO. He will be assisted by assistant district officers Masirah Che Ani, Hisan Abu Bakar and Kamarul Haizal.

The 2008 electoral roll with 15,384 registered voters as at April 16, 2009 will be used for the by-election. Of these 72.68% are Malays, 24.22% Chinese, 2.39% Indians and 0.71% other races.

Approximately 15,360 are ordinary voters and 24 are postal voters.

The Dewan Besar Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara (IKBN) in Bukit Mertajam has been named as the nomination and vote tallying centre.

Abdul Aziz said the estimated cost incurred by the EC alone for the by-election is RM500,000, while other agencies like the police will decide on how many personnel they need to send, and money to be spent based on their intelligence report.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Najib should answer – Is RPK to be detained under new ISA order and to be charged for treason?

By Lim Kit Siang

Pix courtesy of

The new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should answer two questions – has a new Internal Security Act (ISA) detention order been issued against blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and whether a decision had been taken to charge him for treason or equally serious capital offence?

If not, is Najib prepared to make two public commitments that under his premiership, Raja Petra will not be victimized and will not be detained under a fresh ISA detention order and will not be charged for treason or equally serious capital offence for what he had done so far?

Furthermore, is Najib prepared to make the further commitment for the withdrawal of the government’s appeal to the Federal Court against Raja Petra’s release under the ISA in November when the Shah Alam High Court ruled that his ISA detention was illegal.

Raja Petra’s absence from his sedition trial, the issue of a warrant of arrest against him and Raja Petra’s explanation in his news portal, Malaysia Today, of the reasons for his action yesterday have focused national and international spotlight not only on RPK but also on the new Prime Minister and his administration.

Although epithets like “coward” and “yellow” have been hurled at him, these are from a tiny minority as Raja Petra strikes a great resonance from a great number of Malaysians when he said that he has no confidence that he could get a fair trial and justice from the Malaysian courts.

It is a mark of the inability of Najib as the new Prime Minister to command public confidence that more and more Malaysians share Raja Petra’s grave doubts about the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary as the promises of judicial reforms in the past five years have failed to bear fruit.

Nizar seeks 9-man bench to hear Zambry’s application - Star

April 24, 2009

Pix courtesy of Malaysiakini.

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin wants a nine-member quorum to hear Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir's application for the Federal Court to decide on who is the rightful mentri besar of Perak.

Mohammad Nizar's counsel, Leong Cheok Keng, when contacted Friday, said he submitted a letter to Chief Justice Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi's secretary on April 22 seeking a larger bench to hear the matter.

Among the grounds given for the application were that the matter was of public interest and that they wanted to revisit the issue of applicability or validity of Article 63 of the Perak State Constitution.

Leong said a five-member bench had previously deliberated on Article 63.

Dr Zambry's application has been fixed for hearing on Tuesday.

He is taking the matter straight to the Federal Court via Article 63 of the Perak State Constitution requesting the highest court in the country to determine and interpret Article 16(2) and 16(6) of the Perak State Constitution. Dr Zambry wants the court to determine three constitutional questions involving the interpretation of the sultan's prerogative under the Perak Constitution to appoint a mentri besar.

In his application, he said that if the questions were decided by the Federal Court in his favour, he wanted the court to declare that his appointment as mentri besar on Feb 6 was in accordance with the Perak State Constitution.

Mohammad Nizar, however, filed an affidavit-in-reply Thursday opposing the referral, saying that the questions suggested by Dr Zambry for the court to decide could not solve the political impasse. He said this was due to material differences in facts as to what was told to the Sultan of Perak by him and as claimed by State Legal Adviser Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid.

Nizar, in his affidavit, said he had requested the ruler to dissolve the state legislative assembly as there could be a possible deadlock in the house.

This was because both the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat had 28 seats each in the assembly.

Three other assemblymen who were with Pakatan Rakyat had become independents but friendly to the BN.

Ahmad Kamal, in an affidavit in support of Zambry, said Nizar had requested the sultan to dissolve the assembly as he (Nizar) had lost the confidence of the majority of the assemblymen.

The state legal adviser was present on three occasions between Feb 2 and Feb 5 when Nizar was in audience with the ruler.

"All material differences in facts could only be decided at the judicial review application (pending in the High Court).

The Federal Court cannot answer legal questions based on assumptions," Nizar said in an affidavit filed at the apex court registry Thursday.

On Monday, Zambry had filed for an interpretation of the sultan's prerogative under the Perak Constitution to appoint a menteri besar. The Federal Court has fixed the matter for hearing on Tuesday. In his application which was attached with his supporting affidavit, Dr Zambry wanted the Federal Court to decide and interpret the provisions under Clauses 16(2) and 16(6) of the Perak State Constitution namely:

whether the Sultan of Perak had the right to refuse consent to the dissolution of the State Assembly by former Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin when Mohammad Nizar no longer had the confidence of the majority of the Assemblymen;

whether upon refusal by the Sultan of Perak to dissolve the Assembly, should Mohammad Nizar and his executive councillors tender their resignations under Clause 16(6) of the State Constitution;

whether the Sultan of Perak had the right to appoint Dr Zambry as the menteri besar following Mohammad Nizar's and the executive councillors' refusal to resign.

In his counter affidavit Thursday, Nizar said among others that the questions suggested by Zambry for the court to decide could not solve the political impasse.

He said the issues, whether the post of Mentri Besar could and/or had been vacated in the situation where the Mentri Besar wished, and had advised for the dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly under several circumstances including the absence of a motion of no confidence being passed and adopted in and by the Assembly against the Mentri Besar could still not be answered.

He said, the questions suggested by Zambry for the court to decide were irrelevant to his judicial review application and it would not resolve the contentious issues in the application. Nizar is also challenging the validity of Article 63 of the Perak State Constitution which was used to refer the matter to the Federal Court.

He said the Federal Court did not have jurisdiction to hear the Article 63 application because the term "Supreme Court" in Article 63 did not refer to the apex court in the Federation of Malay States because the apex court at that time was the Privy Council.

Nizar said he did not dispute the prerogative of the Sultan of Perak which was enshrined in Article 16(2) and/or Article 36(2). He said, the Sultan of Perak's prerogative did not arise at all in his judicial review application.

Nizar has argued that according to the Perak State Constitution, he was the legitimate Mentri Besar because he had advised the Sultan to dissolve the State Legislative Assembly, did not resign and no motion of no confidence had been passed against him in the Assembly.

The High Court will hear that judicial review application on May 5 and 6. - Bernama

Zaid: I will debate Rais on any subject, anytime and anywhere - Malaysian Insider

By Lee Wei Lian

KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 - Former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has picked up the gauntlet thrown down by Datuk Seri Rais Yatim today and says that he is ready to debate the new Minister of Information, Communication and Culture.

The maverick politician's only conditions are that Rais has to specify exactly what he wants to debate and that it has to be televised.

"Yes, I will debate Rais on any subject he wants, anytime and anywhere," Zaid told The Malaysian Insider.

"But RTM must show it otherwise it is a waste of time."

Bernama today reported that Rais challenged Zaid to a public debate over his allegations against Najib, as the former minister has been often quoted in the foreign media.

Rais also accused the foreign media of trying to topple prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

"However, we must study (the situation) and if I have the chance, I want to have a debate with those trying to implicate our leader with unbecoming and nonsensical words," Rais said.

The veteran minister has been reported as blaming the media for various troubles that plague Umno and the Barisan Nasional ever since he was appointed to his current portfolio earlier this month.

Zaid quit the government and Umno last year over disagreements on political reforms. He remains an independent politician but is expected to join an opposition party.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gobind sues Speaker over suspension - Malaysian Insider

Gobind holds the papers which he filed. With him are Karpal and MPs from the DAP and PKR. — Picture by Choo Choy May

By Debra Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo filed a suit against Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia in the KL High Court today over his one-year suspension from Parliament.

Taking advantage of the Federal Court decision last week which allowed a challenge by Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir and his excos against their suspension from the state assemby by the Speaker, Gobind is also suing the government, the House secretary and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz.

He claims the Speaker's decision has put his status as an elected representative in "limbo". “I don’t know to what extent the Speaker’s decision covers,” he told reporters after paying the RM108 court fee required to file his suit.

Pointing to an official letter from Parliament telling him of his “suspension from duty as a Member of Parliament”, Gobind noted it was not unusual for an MP to be suspended from taking part in proceedings inside the House, but questioned whether he could be “suspended as an MP”.

“If I’m suspended as an MP, how does that work? Where does that leave me?” he asked.

Gobind stressed the matter is of public interest because “the issue is whether or not Parliament has unlimited powers”, especially to impose punishments which restrict an elected representative’s ability to act independently in the interest of the public.

He noted that the present situation appears to discourage MPs from speaking their minds fearlessly.

“To speak without fear or favour, these are concepts that precede a democracy,” he said.

The first-term national lawmaker is challenging the Speaker’s decision to suspend him on three grounds: that he was not given a chance to defend himself inside Parliament before a motion was passed to suspend him; that the Speaker’s decision is unconstitutional and “smacks of inequality” before the law; and the third deals specifically with the pay and other monetary allowances and privileges owed an MP under the Federal Constitution.

Gobind, who was accompanied by his father and DAP chairman Karpal Singh,wants the court to overturn the Speaker’s decision which not only bars him from taking part in all Parliament sessions for the 12 months from March 16, but also cuts him off from receiving the allowances and benefits provided for all MPs under the law.

He also filed a notice of urgency with his suit today as he hopes the court will decide in his favour allowing him to return to Parliament when the next sitting resumes.

Gobind was suspended after an outburst inside Parliament involving Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The fiery MP had allegedly linked the then deputy premier to a highly sensationalised murder case involving Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, whose remains were found in a jungle clearing in Shah Alam three years ago.

Arrest warrant out for Raja Petra - Star

April 23, 2009

PETALING JAYA: The Sessions Court here issued a warrant of arrest against Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin on Thursday after he failed to turn up for his sedition trial.

Picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

His lawyer J. Chandra informed judge Rozina Ayob that his client did not turn up in court on the grounds he is on a self-imposed exile from the state for “reasons that are well known.”

“You know these ‘well known reasons,’ so please highlight them to the court,” Rozina said.

“The accused is posting his reasons on his website this morning,” said Chandra.

“You expect the court to go through that, is it?” the judge said.

Chandra then went out to explain that for over a month now, Raja Petra, 58, has posted articles or comments on issues in relation to the Selangor royal house that have angered some members of his own family who have demanded an apology.

On Malaysia Today, explaining why he did not attend court Thursday, Raja Petra wrote, “My family then gave me an ultimatum. I was to either make that public apology or else my family would insert an advertisement in the mainstream newspapers practically distancing itself from me, which could be interpreted as disowning me ....

“I went into exile outside Selangor ... . It has to be noted that this has always been the punishment for any member of the Selangor Royal Family who is considered durhaka (traitorous) since the beginning of the Selangor Sultanate more than 250 years ago.”

He also wrote that another reason why he did not attend court was the he did not expect to get a fair trial.

In court on Thursday, his lawyer Chandra added, “You have to bear in mind that he is a member of royalty and this self-imposed exile is a punishment he has handed out to himself.”

His wife Marina Lee, who is also his bailor, was also absent.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Shahidani Aziz asked for a warrant of arrest to be issued against Raja Petra and a notice of showcause for his wife and bailor Marina. The judge granted both and set May 22 for mention.

Raja Petra, a former Internal Security Act detainee, had on May 6 2008 claimed trial to publishing a seditious article on his Malaysia Today news portal on April 25 of that same year.

He is accused of publishing the article Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell on the website

The charge under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948 carries a maximum fine of RM5,000 or three years' jail or both upon conviction.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dr M says Nazri and Johari are among those Najib should not have appointed - Malaysian Insider

By Lee Wei Lian

PUTRAJAYA, April 22 – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed today singled out Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz as one of the ministers he thinks should not have been appointed into Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Cabinet.

He also named Datuk Johari Baharum as someone he thought should not have been made a deputy minister.

Dr Mahathir's remarks today came after he expressed disappointment last week that Najib had appointed "unsavoury characters" into his Cabinet.

"It is quite obvious that he (Najib) does not depend upon me, for example, he appointed ministers, deputy ministers who I think don't deserve to be ministers, who are involved in corruption," he told reporters today.

When asked by the press who these ministers were, he replied: "I won't tell you."

However, when pressed further, he added: "Nazri was nasty to me, so of course I don't like him. And Johari Baharum, has this accusation against him for accepting RM5 million to release people. Of course he was cleared but some people still feel he should not be made deputy minister."

Datuk Seri Mohamad Nazri Aziz is Minister in the Prime Minister's department for law and parliament and Johari Baharum is deputy agriculture and agro based Industries minister.

In 2007, Johari had come under a cloud of allegations for allegedly accepting money to release a detainee when he was deputy internal security minister. He was later cleared.

Nazri had been one of the most vocal defenders of Tun Abdullah Badawi when the latter came under intense attacks from Dr Mahathir.

Dr Mahathir also defended his stand that the Barisan Nasional (BN) should contest in the Penanti by-election despite Najib saying that it was a waste of time and energy and that the country should focus on the economy.

Mahathir said that he was not consulted on the issue and had the right to state his opinion when asked by the media as well as on his personal blog.

However he added that the difference in opinion did not mean he was opposed to Najib and that the Umno party president had the right to decide.

He also denies that he has offered to lead the campaign for the Penanti by-election if BN decided to contest.

Now Gobind takes Speaker to court - Malaysian Insider

By Debra Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 – The Federal Court’s ruling last week overturning a decision made by an elected state assembly speaker crossed the boundaries separating the powers between the judiciary and legislature and has churned up a new challenger.

Suspended Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo plans to sue Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia for his ruling last month barring him from taking part in Parliament.

Fondly known as the “Little Lion of Puchong,” Gobind is set to file his suit at the High Court here at 11am tomorrow, his father and DAP chairman Karpal Singh told reporters here today.

Karpal appeared to relish the chance to challenge the Speaker’s decisions. The Bukit Gelugor MP has often found himself on the receiving end of Pandikar Amin’s unwanted attention.

“He’s got a precedent. They started it,” noted Karpal.

Gobind was suspended for one year from March 16 without an MP’s allowances and benefits after an outburst inside Parliament involving Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The fiery first-term lawmaker had allegedly linked Najib to a highly sensationalised murder case involving a Mongolian model, Altantuya Shaariibuu, whose remains were found in a jungle clearing in nearby Shah Alam three years ago.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Forum: “Krisis BerPerlembagaan Perak”, 25 April 2009

April 20, 2009

Majlis Peguam akan menganjurkan satu forum berkenaan krisis berPerlembagaan Perak pada 25 April 2009 pukul 12.00 - 2.00 petang di Auditorium Majlis Peguam.

Tajuknya Perak Crisis: Constitutional, Legal or Political?

Ahli-ahli panel forum ini yang telah dijemput adalah saudara-saudara Dr Subramaniam Pillai, Tommy Thomas dan Dato’ Shafee Abdullah.

More details at:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Not fair to blame Chinese for BN's defeats in by-elections - Sun

KUALA LUMPUR (April 14, 2009) : The Barisan Nasional's defeats in two by-elections in the peninsula were due to a number of factors, and to put the blame on Chinese voters is not fair to them, says Hua Zong (Federation of Chinese Associations of Malaysia) honorary secretary Teh Eng Hin.

Teh said it is a long-term process for political parties to serve the people to win their hearts, and dishing out goodies on the eve of elections is no longer the sure-fire way to win votes, Oriental Daily reported today.

He was commenting on Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's remark in an interview with Mingguan Malaysia which quoted him as saying that the Chinese had been unappreciative of BN and voted for Pakatan Rakyat in two recent by-elections.

Teh said factors that determine the result of a by-election include the calibre of the candidates, their political views and track record.

The voters have the rights to choose their candidates based on various indicators available and it is not incumbent upon them to give BN their votes in return for the "benefits" farmed out in the run-up to the election.

Political parties, he said, which want to receive the public's continued support should take a serious view of the problems faced by the people, work for the people and treat every citizen fairly, including supporters of rival parties.

He felt that providing services and giving out grants only when there is an election is an outdated way of winning votes, as it no long works on voters who are well aware of their democratic rights.

He urged the BN to seriously review the reasons for its loss in the Bukit Gantang parliamentary and Bukit Selambau state by-elections and to work towards endearing itself to the people instead of looking for excuses for its defeats.

He said the two seats were under BN prior to the March 8 general election last year, which showed that the Chinese voters had once supported the BN.

BN must do some soul-searching to find out why the switch in support, he said.

Teh hoped that at a time when the country is facing the global economic slowdown, the prime minister, his deputy and the rest of the country's leaders would try to unite all races so that they will join forces to revitalise the national economy, and not engaged in finger-pointing.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tear gas fired during Bkt Gantang polls - Star

April 10, 2009 By CLARA CHOOI

Picture courtesy of The Sun

IPOH: The Internal Security and Public Order Department has confirmed rumours that tear gas was fired at rowdy supporters during polling day for the Bukit Gantang by-election on April 7.

Its director Comm Datuk Hussin Ismail said he was aware of such an incident but believed the act of firing the gas had been justifiable and that the move was warranted.

"The response was based on necessity. We needed to use the tear gas to keep the situation under control.

"The commander in charge at the point felt there was a need to disperse the crowd as the situation was getting tense," he told reporters after a reception to welcome the General Operations Force (GOF) northern brigade team from its six month stint in Timor Leste.

Comm Hussin was responding to rumours that the police had misused its powers by firing tear gas at supporters outside SK Pengkalan Aur in Air Kuning, Changkat Jering, during Tuesday's polls.

When questioned on the actual day of the incident, however, police spokesmen had claimed that there had been no report on the matter.

Since then however, videos posted up online and blogs had picked up on the news, claiming that the police had acted wrongfully.

When contacted Friday, Perak CPO Deputy Comm Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah said that the incident had occurred some time before noon.

"The crowd outside the voting station was beginning to wage a verbal war with one another and things became rowdy.

"The police light strike force had to take necessary preventive measures to disperse the crowd after people began to fling objects like bottles at one another," he said.

He added that only one round of tear gas was fired and the crowd dispersed within minutes.

"No one was arrested and public order was maintained," he said. DCP Zulkifli said the incident would be examined when the police conducted its own post-mortem of the by-election.

Nik Aziz defends Nga’s recital of Quranic verse - Star

April 10, 2009

KOTA BARU: Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat has defended Perak DAP secretary Nga Kor Ming who recited an Al-Quran verse in his speech, saying that this was a start to an Islamic renaissance for non-Muslims in Malaysia.

In an open letter to Nga published on his blog, Nik Aziz praised the Taiping MP for his bravery in reciting the Quranic verse despite lacking the right pronunciation.

Nik Aziz said he felt overwhelmed that a non-Muslim had attempted to recite the Quran and understood Nga’s disappointment that some Chinese were being blocked from discovering or knowing Islam and Al-Quran.

Nik Aziz, who is also PAS spiritual leader, added that he also understood Nga’s frustration with the objections from some quarters in Umno, but said that his attempt would generate interest among the non-Muslims to organise forums or discourse on Islam.

“I have a dream that one day more non-Muslims like the Chinese, Indians, Siamese, Bajaus and Kadazan will come forward to become officials like qari, ustaz, khatib or imam for mosques,” he said, adding that he was also confident that Islam’s rebirth in Malaysia would become a reality someday.

“I believe Nga has laid the foundation stones towards this,” he said, adding that the time had come to organise seminars on Islam for non-Muslims.

“Together we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and let us all go there together,” said Nik Aziz as he signed off the letter.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

No big changes in Najib’s Cabinet - Malaysian Insider

By Leslie Lau, Consultant Editor

KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced his Cabinet of 28 ministers today, with many faces retained and Sabah emerging big winners with four members given senior portfolios.

But despite the expectations otherwise, there were only a sprinkling of new faces with many members of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s team retaining their jobs albeit with different ministries.

The Cabinet was also marginally trimmed down even though a leaner Cabinet was expected.

Among the ministers dropped were Datuk Azalina Aziz, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Amirsham Aziz, Datuk Ong Ka Chuan and Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, newly elected as Umno deputy president, was made deputy prime minister.

Influential Sabah lawmaker Datuk Anifah Aman was the most prominent new member of the Cabinet and was given the plum Foreign Ministry portfolio.

Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, as expected, returned to the Cabinet as the new women’s affairs minister, as did Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, who was made minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. Both of them will be appointed senators.

Another new face in the Cabinet is Raja Nong Chik, who was appointed Federal Territories minister.

Among the other prominent appointments were Muhyiddin as education minister and Najib himself remains the first finance minister.

Datuk Husni Hanadzlah was made the second finance minister.

Besides Anifah, the other four Sabah ministers are Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, Maximus Ongkili and Datuk Shafie Apdal.

Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein, who was elected Umno vice-president, was made the home minister while another Umno V-P Datuk Zahid Hamidi will be the defence minister.

Datuk Mustapa Mohamad was made the international trade and industry minister.

As expected, Khairy Jamaluddin, who was recently elected Umno Youth chief, was not offered a Cabinet post.

It was a major slap in the face for him as Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, whom he beat in the party polls, was made a deputy minister as was his deputy Youth chief Razali Ibrahim.

MCA also maintains its status quo of four ministers in the Cabinet with Datuk Kong Cho Ha as the new addition in place of Datuk Ong Ka Chuan.


Prime Minister and Finance Minister 1 Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
Deputy PM and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin

Minister in Prime Minister’s Department
Unity Dr Koh Tsu Koon
Law and Parliament Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz
Religious Affairs Brig. Gen. (Rtd) Datuk Jamil Khir Baharum
Economic Planning Unit Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Deputies: Datuk Chor Chee Heung, Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussein

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin Deputies: Datuk Wee Ka Seong, Datuk Puad Zarkashi

Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat Deputies: Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri, Datuk Robert Lau

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein Deputy:: Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop

Information, Unity, Culture and Arts
Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim Deputies: Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum, Heng Sai Kee

Energy, Green Tech & Water
Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui Deputy: Noriah Kasnon

Plantation Industries and Commodoties
Tan Sri Bernard Dompok Deputy: Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin

Rural and Regional Development
Datuk Shafie Apdal Deputies: Datuk Hassan Malek, Datuk Joseph Entulu

Higher Education
Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin Deputies: Dr Hou Kok Chung, Saifuddin Abdullah

International Trade and Industry
Datuk Mustapa Mohamed Deputies: Datuk Muhkriz Mahathir, Datuk Jacob Dungau

Science, Tech and Innovation
Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili Deputy: Fadillah Yusof

Natural Resources and Environment
Datuk Douglas Unggah Embas Deputy: Tan Sri Joseph Kurup

Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen Deputy: Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abdul Taib

Agriculture and Agro-based industries
Datuk Noh Omar Deputies: Johari Baharum, Rohani Abdul Karim

Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi Deputy: Datuk Dr Abdul Latif

Works Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor Deputy: Datuk Yong Khoon Seng

Health Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai Deputy: Datuk Rosnah Rashid Shilin

Youth and Sport Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek Deputies: Datuk Razali Ibrahim, Wee Jeck Sing

Human Resource Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam Deputy: Datuk Maznah Mazlan

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Deputy: Datuk Tan Lian Hoe

Housing and Local Government Datuk Kong Cho Ha Deputy: Lajim Ukin

Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil Deputy: Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun

Foreign Affairs Datuk Anifah Aman Deputies: Lee Chee Hong, A. Kohilan

Federal Territorry Datuk Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin Deputy: M. Saravanan

Nizar elected, BN rejected; Perak elections needed — Malaysian Insider

By P. Ramakrishnan

APRIL 8 — The Barisan Nasional has suffered four deadly blows in a row. Umno has been soundly defeated on three occasions since 8 March 2008.

The outcome of these by-elections have confirmed that there is no stopping the Pakatan no matter what crafty means the BN adopts or devices to reach out to the electorate.

For Umno the results have been devastating. It has not recovered lost ground neither has it revived its fortunes. It has been downhill all the way in spite of changing its president and acclaiming him as the sixth prime minister of Malaysia.

Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak going down to the ground without any fanfare dressed in ordinary clothes; meeting ordinary people and eating vadai in crowded Brickfields; addressing the nation propounding the concept of one Malaysia; bringing in Tun Mahathir Mohamad to turn the tide on the last day of campaigning – all this did not make any difference.

Fixing a weekday for polling, imposing so many restrictions to handicap the opposition did not provide any advantage to the BN. If anything, it only made the people angry and motivated the electorate to punish the BN.

The peninsula victories of the Pakatan over the BN has driven home the fact rather convincingly that the March 8 election was no fluke. They reaffirmed that the ground has indeed shifted in favour of the Opposition.

The results must be viewed as a damning referendum on Najib, Umno, BN and the government. The electorate have rejected the BN overwhelmingly and have sent a clear signal that they are not going to tolerate any more nonsense from Umno and the BN.

When they elected a political novice and rejected a seasoned politician in Bukit Selembau, it was meant to spite the BN and MIC.

When they elected Nizar in Bukit Gantang with a majority almost twice that of the previous one exactly a year later, it was meant to punish the BN and send a strong signal to Najib that they were thoroughly disgusted with him for engineering the fall of their duly elected Perak state government.

The significance of Bukit Gantang must be seriously taken into account. It is abundantly clear that Perakians want Nizar’s government to continue to serve them. It is their preferred. chosen government and they have given the thumbs down to Dato Zambry.

Aliran hopes that this message will not go unnoticed. This is why Aliran would like to appeal — yet again — to His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Perak, to reconsider his decision.

The Perak government cannot be in a limbo, especially in these difficult times of economic uncertainties. We earnestly appeal to His Royal Highness to allow his subjects to decide on the government of their choice in a fresh election.

Aliran would also like to appeal to Zambry to do the only honorable thing for which he will be remembered. Please resign and pave the way for fresh elections.

P. Ramakrishnan is the president of Aliran.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Press Statement By Anwar Ibrahim

April 8, 2009

Pakatan Rakyat’s victories in the April 7th by-elections demonstrate that the people of Malaysia remain

committed to change. The results are a clear referendum on the UMNO led BN government, its divisive

politics and its failure to implement any reforms since the March 2008 election.

I congratulate all Pakatan leaders for their superior campaigning and all Malaysians around the country who continue to support us.

In four by-elections that have taken place since March 2008 Pakatan Rakyat has won decisively, and in each case we have increased our margin of victory. We have won in Malay strongholds and we have won in mixed ethnicity areas. Our support among the people is clearly increasing.

The reason is simple. In governing ?ve states for just one year the Pakatan Rakyat has delivered on campaign promises. We have created jobs and attracted foreign investment. We have provided valuable new social services to people including health care for senior citizens and more investments in education for children. Our Chief Minister and Menteris Besar are discussing ways that the Pakatan states can work together to face the challenges of a global recession.

Pakatan Rakyat has established a new standard in governance and accountability in Malaysia. Our leaders have worked tirelessly to exceed the expectations that the people have of us. There is still much work to be done and will continue to hold our leaders to the highest standards.

YB Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin’s victory reaf?rms the will of the people of Perak to choose their elected representatives. Campaigning against the full might of the BN leadership, his victory is a telling sign of the waning support for the current government. The people have restated their preference that the State Assembly should be dissolved and a new election should take place in Perak.

Sarawak remains a frontline state for Keadilan and Pakatan Rakyat. We are not discouraged by the results of the Batang Ai election. Irregularities in the voting procedure including possible tampering with ballot boxes cast doubt on the credibility of the results. The support that we detected among the Ibans in Sarawak con?rms that the state is ripe for taking. In this campaign the issues of land rights, development and marginalization have clearly been highlighted and Pakatan Rakyat offers the only credible solution for these problems.

During the campaign we faced chauvinism, racism and threats from those in power. These attacks have not stopped us from ful?lling our commitment to the people. Pakatan Rakyat promises to uphold the principles of the Constitution and we will implement our policies to help people regardless of race. I urge Malaysians to be with Pakatan Rakyat. Democracy must ?ourish and we must continue to uphold the Rule of Law.


Second political tsunami – double ‘no confidence’ vote on Najib and Zambry

April 8, 2009 By Lim Kit Siang

The impressive victories by Pakatan Rakyat candidates in Bukit Gantang parliamentary and Bukit Selambau state assembly (Kedah) by-elections yesterday is a second political tsunami in Malaysian electoral politics in 13 months.

They are a double “no confidence” vote on Datuk Seri Najib Razak four days after being the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia as well as on Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir as the illegitimate and usurper Perak Mentri Besar following the undemocratic, unethical, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak two months ago.

The Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-election results, with increased majorities for the Pakatan Rakyat candidates as compared to last year, are a clear and unmistakable endorsement of the March 8, 2008 political tsunami telling the nation and the world that what happened in the 12th general elections in March last year was neither accidental nor a fluke, to disappear like fireworks in the skies, but a major political paradigm shift representing the deep-seated and widely-held aspirations of Malaysians regardless of race or religion for democratic change.

Furthermore, that such fundamental political change is here to stay!

Although UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders had claimed after the March 8 political tsunami, which toppled Barisan Nasional governments in five states and ended its unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority, that they had heard and learnt the message of the voters, the verdicts in the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections are loud and clear – that UMNO and Barisan Nasional had failed in the past 13 months to heed the message of the 12th general election results.

This is why the by-elections yesterday have become a multiple referendum, viz:


Firstly, a resounding rejection of the undemocratic, unethical, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak personally orchestrated by Najib in February, two months before he became the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia, creating a protracted political stalemate and constitutional crisis with two Mentris Besar – the legitimate and popularly-recognised Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin and the “usurper” and popularly-rejected Zambry.

If Umno and Barisan Nasional had heard the message of the Malaysian voters for democratic change in the March 8, 2008 political tsunami, the unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak would not have taken place.

The two-month political stalemate and constitutional crisis in Perak should be ended in the most democratic manner by returning the mandate to Perakians with the dissolution of the Perak State Assembly for a new state government to be elected by the people.

Zambry should respect the political will of the people and be honest and humble enough to acknowledge that with the unmistakable result of the Bukit Gantang by-election, the question of his legitimacy as Perak Mentri Besar cannot be avoided or ignored, and come forward to publicly agree to the only honourable political solution available – dissolution of the Perak State Assembly and holding of Perak state general elections.

Secondly, the deepening of the national and international crisis of credibility, integrity and legitimacy faced by Najib since becoming the sixth Prime Minister four days ago, largely because of his refusal to confront and come clean on the host of serious allegations haunting and hounding him, whether over the C4 murder case of Mongolian Altantuya Shariibuu or defence deal mega-commissions, as through the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry; and most recently, over his democratic credentials and commitment in having personally orchestrated the undemocratic, unethical, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak.

In his four days as the new Prime Minister, Najib had suffered two major setbacks:

The failure of his maiden speech introducing his three thematic slogans of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” to “catch fire” and inspire Malaysians, because of the wide gulf between words and deeds – as illustrated by the outrageous 46-hour release of the two Hindraf leaders, V. Ganabatirau and R. Kengadharan despite Najib’s announcement of “immediate release” and the host of undemocratic and draconian restrictions placed on the two as conditions for their ISA release from Kamunting Detention Centre.

Rejection by the voters in the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections doubly manifested not only by the Pakatan Rakyat victories but also in the increased majorities for the Pakatan Rakyat candidates.

A third failure in Najib’s first week as Prime Minister awaits him, as nobody believes that he would be able to announce a new Cabinet which is not only clean and incorruptible, but fulfils his slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”.

In view of the deepening of the national and international crisis over his credibility, integrity and legitimacy as Prime Minister with every passing day, Najib should convene an emergency meeting of Parliament to secure a motion of confidence from the majority of Members of Parliament.

This was what Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi did when he became the fifth Prime Minister in 2003, with Parliament passing a motion of confidence in him in his first week in office. This was also what Datuk Hussein Onn did when he took over as Prime Minister in 1976 when Tun Razak died of leukaemia in London, convening an emergency meeting of Parliament to secure a motion of confidence in him in his first fortnight in office.

Thirdly, rejection of the return of both Mahathirism and Tun Mahathir himself. Within two days of the accession of Najib premiership, the former premier Abdullah had been sidelined while his predecessor Tun Mahathir was given a high-profile welcome-back like the return of the prodigal son, giving Prime Ministerial treatment when his appearance at the Bukit Gantang by-election campaign on Monday was telecast live on TV1 for 90 minutes!

Fourthly, endorsement of Pakatan Rakyat as the movement for the future and the relegation of Barisan Nasional as the coalition of the past. In the by-elections, it is Pakatan Rakyat which manifested the spirit of “1Malaysia” with DAP, PAS and PKR working as one team regardless of race or religion while Umno and Barisan Nasional exploited the outmoded politics of the 3Rs – race, religion and royalty.

Manikumar wins in Bukit Selambau - Star

April 7, 2009

SUNGAI PETANI: PKR’s S. Manikumar won the Bukit Selambau seat with a majority of 2,403 votes on Tuesday.

Manikumar, 35, obtained 12,632 votes against Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk S. Ganesan’s 10,229 votes.

Manikumar celebrates his victory with Kedah mentri besar Azizan.

The Bukit Selambau by-election had created history by having the most number of candidates, totalling 15 altogether.

The other 13, who contested as Independent candidates, included Mej (Rtd) Anuar Abd Hamid, who secured 528 votes, the highest among the independents.

The result for the by-election was announced by Returning Officer Datuk Abdullah Mat Akhir at the vote tallying centre at Sekolah Menengah Teknik 2 at 10.45pm.

The by-election was held following the resignation of incumbent assemblyman V. Arumugam on Feb 8. - Bernama

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

PAS retains Bkt Gantang - Star

April 7, 2009

TAIPING: PAS’ Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin won the Bukit Gantang parliamentary by-election with a majority of 2,789 votes.

He beat Barisan Nasional’s Ismail Saffian and independent Kamarul Ramizu Idris.
Nizar celebrates his victory.

The 52-year-old former Perak mentri besar garnered 21,860 votes against Ismail’s 19,071. Kamarul Ramizu only managed to secure 62 votes and lost his deposit.

Ismail, 49, is the only local candidate in this three-cornered contest. Nizar, who hails from Kampar, is a registered voter in Pasir Panjang in the southern part of Perak.

Barisan’s expectation of securing more support by fielding a local candidate did not materialise. The coalition managed to get 622 more votes compared with the 18,449 votes it had secured in 2008 general election.

PAS, through Nizar, who was said to be banking on sympathy votes after the Barisan takeover of Perak state, improved its vote count by 1,845 votes compared with the 20,015 votes it garnered in 2008.

The by-election -- largely seen as a referendum on Barisan’s move to capture the state from Pakatan Rakyat by getting three of the latter’s state assemblymen to quit parties of the Pakatan alliance -- was called following the death of its Member of Parliament Roslan Shaharum of PAS in February.

In the last general election, the late Roslan had scored an upset over Umno’s Datuk Abdul Azim Zabidi with a majority of 1,566 votes.

Intermittent rain did not deter voters from coming out to exercise their democratic rights. Turnout was 75.1% or 41,626 of the total 55,562 voters, slightly higher than 72.65% in the 2008 general election.

In fact, the turnout this time was the highest ever for the constituency which was created in 1986. In the last six elections, the average turnout was only 70%.

This semi-rural parliamentary constituency is made up of the three state constituencies of Changkat Jering, Trong and Kuala Sepetang.

Two Bukits go to Pakatan Rakyat and One Batang goes to BN

Pakatan Rakyat took the two Bukits in today's by-election with BN taking Batang Ai. The following are the results:

Bukit Selambau:

PKR vice-president Azmin Ali lifts PKR candidate S. Manikumar's hands in victory in the Bukit Selambau by-election. - Picture by Shannon Teoh Courtesy of Malaysian Insider

PKR's Manikumar wins the seat to retain the status quo in the state assembly.

With all 22 polling boxes counted, Manikumar retained the seat for PKR by winning with a 2,396-vote majority.

S Manikumar (PKR) 12,607
S Ganesan (BN) 10,232
Majority 2,375

Bukit Gantang:

Mohd Jamaluddin Nizar (PAS) 21,860
Ismail Saffian (BN-Umno) 19,071
Kamarul Ramizu Idris (Ind) 62

Majority - 2,789 (In 2008, the majority was 1,566)

Batang Ai:

BN's Malcolm Mussem Lamoh (3,907 votes) has beaten PKR's Jawah Gerang (2,053). The majority is 1,854.

Vote for Pakatan Rakyat's Candidates

April 7, 2009

Today is D-Day for voters in Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Batang Ai. Use your only power to tell off Barisan Nasional.

Unofficial Results as at 8.50pm: (Source: Malaysiakini)

Bukit Gantang:

PAS 20,021, BN 17,076, Independent 56. Majority 2,945.

PAS Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin leaves the party’s operation centre in Air Kuning in an open hatch SUV, and waves to supporters as if he has just won the US presidential race.

Bukit Selambau:

PKR's Manikumar wins the seat to retain the status quo in the state assembly.

With only one more polling box to be counted, Manikumar is leading with a 2,092-vote majority. He has been leading in this race from the time the first box was counted.

Batang Ai:

BN's Malcolm Mussem Lamoh (3,907 votes) has beaten PKR's Jawah Gerang (2,053). The majority is 1,854.

With this result, BN has increased its majority from the 806-vote margin at the 2006 state election.

Monday, April 6, 2009

'10 ministers may be dropped from cabinet' - Malaysiakini

Apr 6, 09 1:39pm

Within five days of Najib Abdul Razak’s ascension as prime minister, speculation about the upcoming cabinet reshuffle is already making the rounds.

According to a sources-based report today in the Chinese-language Sin Chew Daily, as many as 10 ministers could be eliminated in the reshuffle:

* Tourism Minister Azalina Othman

* Rural and Regional Development Minister Muhammad Muhd Taib

* Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar

* Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop

* Energy, Water and Communications Minister Shaziman Abu Mansor

* Federal Territories Minister Zulhasnan Rafique

* Foreign Affairs Minister Rais Yatim

* Information Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek

* Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin

* Housing and Local Government Minister Ong Ka Chuan

The cabinet reshuffle is expected to be held after the by-elections in Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau, to be concluded tomorrow.

Khairy Jamaluddin is widely expected to be made a minister or deputy minister by virtue of his position as the newly-minted Umno Youth chief.

“Sources indicate that Najib may also make unexpected, radical changes to the cabinet, including introducing a new department to address issues faced by the Chinese community,” according to the news report.

“Recently re-elected MIC president S Samy Vellu is unlikely to make a comeback into the cabinet, while Gerakan president and senator Koh Tsu Koon may be handed a ministerial post.”

The Chinese daily also conjectured that Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor may resume his former position as Federal Territories Minister, while former Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Jamaluddin Jarjis may be roped in to replace Azalina.

“If Hishammuddin Hussein does not resume his position as Education Minister, then he may replace Rafidah Aziz as International Trade and Industry Minister.

“Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz (right) may replace Rais as Foreign Affairs Minister.

“The chances of Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Shafie Apdal being promoted as Defence Minister are also very strong.”

Although the report did not cite reasons for the speculated moves, both Azalina and Muhammad had lost in the recent Umno elections.

Syed Hamid has received much flak over detentions under the Internal Security Act, as well as for police crackdowns on street demonstrations and peaceful assemblies especially over the past year.

More news at:

Friday, April 3, 2009

PM Najib's maiden speech: 'One Malaysia. People First. Performance Now.' - Star

April 3, 2009

1.On behalf of all Malaysians, I would like to thank YABhg. Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for his 31 years of exemplary public service to our country, his commitment to strengthening the institutions and fabric of our democracy and for his graceful example as our leader.

2.I am grateful to YABhg. Tun for his confidence in proposing my name as Prime Minister to Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and I am honoured that His Majesty has consented to my appointment with this morning’s swearing-in ceremony. I feel a deep sense of humility at the opportunity to serve as your Prime Minister at an important time in our nation’s history. My life has been dedicated to public service. Growing up, I was inspired by the positive impact of public service in the example of my late father. Four decades on, I remain committed to the goals of tackling poverty; of restructuring our society; of expanding access to quality education for all; and of inspiring a new generation of young Malaysians to work on behalf of this great country. My own service in government has always been about getting results: to ensure a better deal for teachers, to improve conditions for our brave soldiers, and to strengthen our economy in defence of the people of Malaysia, as we deal with the outbreak of a global recession.

3.In the coming weeks, I will be consulting with people around our country, as I begin to reshape the leadership and priorities of the Government. I am mindful that we should build on the successes and lessons of the past. It must be a government with new approaches for new times – a government that places a priority on performance, because the people must come first.

4. We must reach out to all parts of Malaysia - to all our diverse communities. In our national discourse and in pursuing our national agenda, we must never leave anyone behind. We must reach out to the many who may have been disaffected and left confused by political games, deceit and showmanship.

We must draw on talented people across our nation, regardless of their position or background, to re-energize a passion for public service. We must sow the seeds of goodwill and understanding in every corner of this land, so that we continue to harvest the fruits of progress and prosperity for all Malaysians.

We must seek to include and unlock the potential of our young people who will be the next generation of leaders, businesspeople, engineers, scientists, teachers and doctors. We must give them wings to fly.

5.And so today, I pledge that I will work tirelessly to serve all of you.

6.In this spirit, I would like to announce that the government has decided with immediate effect, to remove the temporary ban on TWO news publications, release 13 detainees from ISA detention, and conduct a comprehensive review of the Internal Security Act. Additional details will be announced by the Ministry of Home Affairs shortly.

7.These decisions are timely as we move to enhance the confidence of our citizens in those entrusted with maintaining peace, law and order, while recognizing the need to remain vigilant of the very real security threats we continue to face as a young nation.

8.I know that for every citizen, these are hard times and I remain focused in providing strong leadership to lead us out of this economic crisis and unleash our full potential as a nation. I will be steadfast in my commitment to meet the needs, aspirations and concerns of all Malaysians.

9.So, today I ask you to join me in this task of renewing Malaysia. I urge us to rise to the challenge of building a One Malaysia. People First. Performance Now.

10.Let us begin this great journey together.

13 ISA freed, ban lifted on party organs - Malaysiakin

Apr 3, 09 8:26pm

In his first address to the nation as prime minister, Najib Abdul Razak said 13 Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees will be released and the suspension on two opposition publications will be lifted with immediate effect.

"I would like to use this opprtunity to announce that the government will revoke the suspension on two opposition party organs while 13 ISA detainees will be released with immediate effect," he said.

In his 8-minute speech which was telecast live by RTM 1, the new premier also pledged to undertake a comprehensive review of the Internal Security Act which allows for detention without trial.

Najib said the Home Ministry would be releasing details on the 13 ISA detainees who have gained their freedom.

He did not say if they included the five leaders of the banned Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).

The Home Ministry, as of December last year, said it was holding 46 people under the ISA, the majority of whom belong to militant groups like the Jemaah Islamiah and Darul Islam movement.

Though Najib did not mention the names of the two publications which have been unbanned, it was clear he was referring to PKR's Suara Keadilan and PAS' Harakah.

The two publications were slapped with a three-month suspension by the Home Ministry last week for breaching their permit regulations.

Najib was sworn in as the country's sixth prime minister this morning and has vowed to initiate reforms.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bringing up the dead - Malaysian Insider

April 1, 2009 By Adib Zalkapli

SUNGAI PETANI, April 1 – The Home Ministry’s directive banning Pakatan Rakyat leaders from mentioning Altantuya Shaariibuu at their rallies did not stop Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from bringing up the dead at the Bukit Selambau by-election campaign.

Speaking at his campaign stop here last night, the Opposition Leader told thousands of people present at a public rally that only Pakatan Rakyat leaders stood up against the authorities when Kugan Ananthan died in police custody last January.

“I want the Indians to be solidly behind us. When Kugan was beaten up, I spoke up. From Pas, Husam also spoke up. Did you hear any Umno leaders saying anything?” Anwar asked the multiracial crowd.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim being mobbed by the waiting media as he arrives at Bukit Selambau, his first stop in the triple by-election campaign. – Pix by Shannon Teoh

“When the Umno assembly was held for three days, did you hear them talking about the Indian?”

He also ridiculed MIC’s plan to make a comeback through the by-election after suffering its worst electoral performance in March last year.

“If MIC wants to help the Indians, they should tell Umno now and speak up against them,” he said.

With the by-election campaign marred by internal bickering over the selection of S. Manikumar to contest under PKR’s ticket, Anwar last night defended the party’s choice, which he claimed was made after a lengthy process.

“Yes, he is only 35, he does not have much experience but he is clean,” said Anwar.

“I told him that he will be the representative for the Malays, the Chinese and the Indians. This is not about one or two candidates, but it is matter of principle,” he added.

Anwar also reiterated his promise that the federal opposition would continue to fight for the release of the five Hindraf leaders who are currently held under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The selection of Manikumar has drawn strong opposition from the party ranks which resulted in a resignation of its Jerai division chief B. Kalaivanar and Hindraf had also said that it is boycotting the by-election and expected a large number of Indians which formed 30 per cent of the voters not to turn up on polling day.

The race for the state seat is between Manikumar, MIC’s Datuk S. Ganesan and 13 independents with polling set for April 7.

Minister and IGP warn parties on rules of ceramah - Star

April 1, 2009

PETALING JAYA: Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar wants all parties not to touch on sensitive or seditious issues such as the Altantuya murder case and Malay Rulers during their ceramah.

In an immediate response, Perak PKR expressed anger over the two additional rules set by the police for granting ceramah permits. They have decided to defy the new guidelines and are welcoming the police to question them.

Syed Hamid said: “Both cases are still in court. As such, talking about them or bringing them up in crowds can be sub judice or contempt of court.”

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan gave assurance that police would continue to issue permits for ceramah for all political parties in all three by-elections.

However, he advised all candidates to strictly abide by the conditions stipulated in the permits.

“If they flout any of the conditions, we will not hesitate to revoke the permits, or even arrest them,” he said.

He also warned candidates to not utter seditious words or raise any sensitive issues that could cause tension. He said police would monitor and record all political ceramah.

Deputy Perak PKR chairman Chang Lih Kang said most speakers at Opposition ceramah have alluded to the murdered Mongolian in one way or another.

“Why are they disallowing us from speaking about Altantuya? Why can’t we speak about it? ” Chang told a press conference here yesterday.

On the rule to stop speakers from questioning decisions made by the Rulers, Chang said he was aware that the Constitution gave the royalty certain powers that should not be questioned.

“However, if the royal institution makes a decision that is outside of its powers, then it is our belief that we have the right to question it. This is our stand.”