Sunday, May 31, 2009

USM apologises for technical glitch over admission - Star


GEORGE TOWN: A technical blunder on Universiti Sains Malaysia’s (USM) official website has created confusion among 4,574 students about their eligibility to enter the university.

An online blunder by apex-status Universiti Sains Malaysia in its first direct intake of undergraduates led to some 200 irate parents and applicants causing a ruckus here yesterday. The error resulted in 4,574 students being wrongly informed that they had obtained places at the university

And USM deputy vice-chancellor (Academic and International Affairs) Prof Ahmad Shukri Mustapa Kamal apologised unreservedly for it. The students, who had received offer letters via soft copies on the website, were left disappointed when they were told of a technical mistake by USM.

The university had wrongfully uploaded all the names, together with 3,599 successful applicants, on the website.

Prof Ahmad Shukri said that about 8,000 students had pre-qualified for the university from a total of 22,000 students who had applied to enter USM.

“They met the minimum criteria to enter the university in accordance to the programme of USM.

“However, after the final three-day selection from May 26-28, we have decided to take in only 3,599 of them.

“The remaining names will be submitted to the University Admission Unit (UPU) main pool for selection into other public universities,” he said during a press conference Sunday.

Ahmad Shukri said USM only realised their mistake at about 3pm on Saturday, some 24 hours after the names of the 8,000 odd students were put up at the website on Friday.

“We took two hours to rectify the problem. By 5pm on Saturday, only the actual successful applicants were notified with the issuance of offer letters and letter of acceptance.

“We regret the mistake that caused inconvenience to the anxious parents and students.

“I apologise for the mistake and USM will do whatever we can to solve the matter,” he said.

He said USM had since notified all the successful applicants via SMSes and phone calls, adding that an official letter would also be sent out.

He said this was the first time that USM was selecting students directly after it was granted Apex status recently.

He assured that the names of students, who were not accepted by USM, would reach UPU.

“We have a short time in notifying the successful candidates. We have no choice but to inform them via SMSes, website and phone calls,” he said.

On the officer who committed the mistake, Ahmad Shukri said he wanted to resolve the matter before carrying out a post mortem and deal with the culprit.

In Petaling Jaya, Higher Education department director-general Datuk Prof Radin Umar Radin Sohadi Students said that those rejected by USM will be placed UPU’s main pool for selection into other public universities.

He said USM had been given autonomy to organise its own intake under its Apex status.

“Whoever is qualified, is offered a place and accepts the offer will go to USM. These students will also be excluded from the main pool.

“However, if they are rejected by USM - then they will be put into the main pool automatically. This process of selection will be done soon and will be announced in the third week of June,” he said when contacted on Sunday.

Meanwhile, a father of a 20-year-old girl came to The Star office on Sunday to complain about the anxiety caused by confusion in USM.

His daughter who refused to be named, checked the university’s website on Friday evening and found her name among the list of successful applicants for the dentistry course.

“She clicked her acceptance for the course and an acknowledgement notice appeared on the website,” said Lim, who showed the acceptance letter to the Star.

“We were so happy but only for a day,” said Lim, 49, when met yesterday.

On Saturday, the Tunku Abdul Rahman college student began to hear news about the list of succesful applicants being changed.

“True enough, we checked on Saturday at around 11pm and her name was no longer on the list.

“And today morning, a SMS was sent to her stating that she was not a successful applicant and it was a technical error.

“USM is an Apex university and it is supposedly an elite university.

“But all they can say about the confusion is that is a ‘technical error’?,” he said.

Mansor wins with 5,558 majority - Malaysiakini

May 31, 09 6:07pm

OFFICIAL RESULTS Mansor wins the seat by garnering 6,052 votes. His nearest rival is Nai Khan with 494, followed by Aminah with 392. Kamarul obtained 56 votes.

Mansor's majority is 5,558 votes. All three independents lost their deposits.

The win for Mansor - after a series of three previous electoral defeats - now opens the door for him to be appointed as the Penang deputy chief minister (1).

A blog entry by DAP leader Lim Kit Siang, whose son Guan Eng is the chief minister, said that Mansor will be sworn in on Wednesday.

More details at

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ex-cop implicates Abdul Gani, Musa in Anwar black-eye case, clears Dr M - Malaysian Insider

By Leslie Lau
Consultant Editor

KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim, the police officer who investigated Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s black-eye beating in 1998, has accused the country's top lawyer and police chief of fabricating evidence in the assault but cleared Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad of any wrong-doing.

He claimed he was told by the then prime minister to ensure there was no cover-up in the investigations, according to a statement of claim made by him in a suit filed against the opposition leader.

But the former investigator now implicates Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan in what he claims was an attempt to introduce a medical report which he found suspicious.

According to his statement of claims which was obtained by The Malaysian Insider, the medical report prepared by a Dr Abdul Rahman Yusof from Hospital Kuala Lumpur had suggested Anwar’s injuries were self-inflicted.

Instead, Mat Zain asserts in his statement of claim that he had taken all possible steps to prevent the medical report prepared by Dr Abdul Rahman from being included in his investigation papers.

Mat Zain filed a RM30 million defamation suit against Anwar last year after the Pakatan Rakyat leader claimed that Abdul Gani, who was a senior deputy public prosecutor then, and Musa, who was an investigating officer, had fabricated evidence against him in the black-eye assault.

Tan Sri Rahim Noor, the Inspector-General of Police in 1998, later admitted he had assaulted Anwar following a Royal Commission of Inquiry probe in 1999.

Besides Mat Zain, Musa has also filed a defamation suit against Anwar.

The statements of claim made by both Musa and Mat Zain have been admitted as part of an affidavit filed by Anwar for his Sodomy II trial which starts in July.

Anwar had claimed trial last August to sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, his second sodomy case in a decade.

Mat Zain, who declined comment on the details of his lawsuit, told The Malaysian Insider however that he had decided to sue Anwar to clear his name because unlike Abdul Gani and Musa he had not been officially cleared of the allegations of abuse of power.

Yesterday, Mat Zain, who retired as the Kuala Lumpur CID chief, claimed there was a high-level plot using a bankruptcy notice to destroy his credibility ahead of several cases including Anwar’s sodomy trial.

State news agency Bernama had on Wednesday reported that Mat Zain was declared a bankrupt on April 21 for failing to settle a RM250,000 loan and was served with the notice on May 26. The news was carried by several Malaysian publications including The Malaysian Insider which subscribes to the Bernama service.

“I say with certainty that there are very powerful hidden hands that wanted it so. Their reasons are to destroy my credibility and/or to paralyse my capabilities and prevent me from giving evidence against Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan for fabricating evidence in the ‘black-eye’ case of 1998 involving Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,” said Mat Zain in a statement.

Mat Zain claimed the bankruptcy notice is related to his appeal to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) advisory board to clear his name after the anti-graft agency cleared only Gani and Musa from charges of fabrication lodged by Anwar.

“I have reasons to believe that the prosecution team anticipated that Anwar will certainly raise at certain points of his trial the issue of fabrication of evidence in the black-eye case. My evidence would be vital at this stage. Their only option is to destroy my credibility.”

In his statement of claim, Mat Zain points out that he had been instructed by Rahim, the IGP then, to head an investigation into Anwar’s allegation on Sept 27, 1998 that he had been assaulted while in police lock-up.

Anwar had been detained by police on Sept 20,1998, just 18 days after he had been sacked by Dr Mahathir as deputy prime minister. The widespread public protests and his subsequent sodomy trial led to the birth of the Reformasi movement.

In his suit against Anwar filed last August, Mat Zain states that he had accompanied two forensic specialists — Dr Halim Mansar and Dr Zahari Noor — to conduct a medical examination on Anwar on the day he started his probe.

He met Rahim later that night and was instructed by his boss “to leave no stone unturned” to protect the integrity of the police.

On Oct 16, Mat Zain claims he was told by the Attorney-General then to liaise with Abdul Gani on all matters related to the probe.

Ten days later he met with Abdul Gani at the latter’s office and was then introduced to Dr Abdul Rahman. The medical expert then signed a medical report and handed it over to Mat Zain.

Mat Zain then claims that he had objected to Dr Abdul Rahman’s report because it also contained personal attacks against Dr Halim, one of the original medical experts in the case.

He claimed further that on further enquiries, he had discovered that Dr Halim had previously lodged a police report against Dr Abdul Rahman for “criminal intimidation.”

On Oct 28, 1998, Mat Zain said he had come to the conclusion that Dr Abdul Rahman had never examined Anwar. He also claimed to have discovered that Abdul Gani had been present on the 30th floor of Bukit Aman on the night that Rahim assaulted Anwar.

Two days later, Mat Zain claimed that he submitted to Abdul Gani his investigation papers which asserted among other matters that Anwar’s injuries were consistent with an assault and that they were not self-inflicted. Mat Zain also asserted that he believed Rahim was the person who had assaulted Anwar.

The two men — Mat Zain and Abdul Gani — had a heated argument over the findings of the probe, according to the statement of claim.

Later that year on Dec 12, Musa, who is now the IGP, had asked Mat Zain to attend a meeting at Bukit Aman with Abdul Gani and Dr Abdul Rahman. At the meeting he was asked to accompany Dr Abdul Rahman for a visit to the lock-up in which Anwar had been held.

The next day, Mat Zain claims he took Dr Abdul Rahman to the lock-up, but points out that he left the doctor on his own in the room.

On Dec 31, 1998, Mat Zain claims that his investigation papers were returned to him. The papers included a second undated medical report by Dr Abdul Rahman.

In the second medical report, Mat Zain claims it was stated he had accompanied Dr Abdul Rahman and aided in a reconstruction of events, which he says was not true.

The initial police investigations prompted Dr Mahathir to suggest Anwar's black-eye could have been self-inflicted, an allegation that was later found to be untrue.

Mat Zain claims that he investigated the black-eye incident without fear or favour and had his statement recorded five times by the precursor to MACC, the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) when Anwar lodged a report on July 1, 2008 that Abdul Gani, Musa, Mat Zain and Dr Abdul Rahman had falsified a medical report on the assault case.

But MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan announced on March 3 that a three-member independent panel led by the Solicitor-General had scrutinised the investigation papers and cleared Abdul Gani and Musa of criminal wrongdoing, prompting Mat Zain to later appeal the findings.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Acting to dispel the darkness - Star

Brave New World

Large balloons with writings pose a danger to passenger aircraft, and black clothes – the colour is associated with death – will drive investors away.

BELOW is a transcript of the final exams for the BA (Governance) degree conducted by the University of Malaysia in the second semester of the academic session 2020/2021. It is an excellent example of a First Class exam script.

Policing 101

Please answer the three questions below. Please ensure your handwriting is legible.

Question 1.

In your opinion, what is a threat to National Security?

A threat to national security is fundamentally anything that the police or Government wants to declare as a threat to national security.

In Malaysian policing and governance, what is important to realise is that the discretion to determine national security need not follow any logical thought process. To call something a threat is in effect to make something a threat.

The citizens of the country are safer and happier under such a system, because with such broad powers the police are able to ensure peace and prosperity.

Any citizen who does not understand the need for such powers is either mentally disturbed or a traitor to the nation who should surrender his or her passport and return to where he or she came from.

Question 2.

Give examples of a threat to National Security.

This question deserves much more time and space than a two-hour examination allows. I shall therefore limit my examples to two.

My first example is the dangerous act of flying large balloons. Balloons are a grave danger to the country because they can interfere in our growing air and space industry.

Aeroplanes flying over Malaysian airspace will have difficulty navigating if we allow large balloons to be flown.

There is always the risk that a pilot may mistake a balloon for a cloud and fly through it only to entangle the aircraft in the lethal combination of rubber and cable, causing the plane to crash and resulting in the death of hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of people.

The problem is compounded if the balloon has writing on it, for a pilot may be distracted and may take the time to read the writing, causing him to lose control of his aircraft and crashing it, killing everyone on board as well as people on the ground.

Another example of a threat to national security is the wearing of black clothes. Black is a colour associated with bad things like death and darkness.

If the people are allowed to wear black, then foreign investors will think that Malaysia is a country of death and darkness. They will lose interest in investing here and they will take away all their money.

This is the reason the Appropriate Malaysian Clothing Act 2015 was passed. Malaysians should wear bright coloured clothes, preferably silk batik, so as to portray a lively and cheerful country, thus attracting investment.

If we do not have foreign investment we will not be the great country that we are. According to the 2018 World Bank Report, we are still richer than Somalia and Myanmar.

This is because of foreign investment, and if anything threatens foreign investment, it is a national security threat; like black clothes.

Question 3

What is the use of Part II of the Federal Constitution?

This is a trick question. Part II of the Federal Constitution is entitled “Fundamental Liberties” and this entire part has been removed by the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2011.

In its place a new Part IIA has been put in. Part IIA is entitled “Fundamental Duties” and it lists the duties of citizens.

Among these is the duty not to light any candles whatsoever – unless in the event of a blackout – and the duty to not show solidarity with any person or cause unless a permit is applied for and obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security.

Note: The candidate whose script this is went on to graduate summa cum laude and is now a personal assistant to a Minister. He is currently being groomed for a leadership role in the near future.

Dr Azmi Sharom is a law teacher. The views expressed here are entirely his own.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lim: Don’t take away Khir’s stipend - Star

May 24, 2009

PETALING JAYA: DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang has urged the Selangor Government not to deny Sungai Panjang assemblyman Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo and four others their allowances, even if the House decides to suspend them.

“Although the state assembly rights and privileges committee has recommended to the assembly to suspend the five, the House should not take away their right to allowances.

“Otherwise, their constituencies will be in limbo,” he said when contacted yesterday.

He was responding to the committee’s recommendation to suspend Dr Khir from the assembly for a year without allowance and privileges for not attending an inquiry conducted by the state’s Select Committee on Competence, Accountability and Transparency in March to answer queries pertaining to disbursement of funds.

The select committee also found four other Barisan Nasional assemblymen – Datuk Warno Dogol (Sabak Bernam), Datuk Mohd Idris Abu Bakar (Hulu Bernam), Mohd Isa Abu Kassim (Batang Kali) and Datuk Marsum Paing (Dengkil) – guilty of attacking it in the media.

Police raid DAP HQ, computer seized - Malaysiakini

Andrew Ong | May 23, 09 7:07pm

The police today raided the DAP headquarters in Petaling Jaya in search of documents believed to be related to the arrest of 16 party activists in Ampang on Thursday night.

The raid, which took place at 6.25pm, was carried out by a team of 11 police officers. They left at 7.30pm.

The police had brought one of those arrested, Ulu Selangor councillor Ooi Leng Heng, 34, along with them in the raid.

Ooi, who is also DAP Youth's political education bureau director, was seen in handcuffs and dressed in the standard orange lock-up uniform.

In the one-hour raid, the police confiscated Ooi's computer monitor, keyboard, headphone, a number of CDs and a CPU (central processing unit).

According to witnesses, the cops did not show any search warrant.

An outraged Nga Kor Ming, who is DAP parliamentarian for Taiping, lambasted the raid.

"This is the first time in DAP's 42-year history that police have raided our HQ," he fumed.

Investigated under PPPA

Sixteen people were arrested at the DAP Teratai service centre for holding a candlelight vigil.
Those arrested, including Teratai state assemblyperson Jenice Lee, have been held over the past two days at the Pandan Indah police lock-up to facilitate investigation.

It is learnt that they are being probed for illegal assembly as well as Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA).

At the candlelight vigil, DAP had distributed a two-page leaflet titled ‘507 Detik Hitam dalam Sejarah Demokrasi Malaysia!’ (507 - A Black Moment in Malaysia’s History of Democracy).

Under the PPPA, the police could charge them for publishing an illegal document or for spreading false news.

At a press conference, DAP Puchong parliamentarian Gobind Singh slammed the police for not producing a warrant, although this is a requirement under Section 16 of the PPPA.

“This is a clear cut case of invasion of privacy and trespass,” said Gobind, who is head of the party’s legal bureau.

Also at the press conference, DAP central committee member Teresa Kok said that the raid and detention of the 16 was a “scare tactic” by the police to pre-empt any future candlelight vigils.

“They are intentionally prolonging the detention of the people, putting additional charges (other than illegal assembly) just to discourage people from attending,” said Kok, who is Seputeh MP and Kinrara state assemblyperson.

Meanwhile, DAP chairperson and Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai said that the candlelight vigil outside his office in Cheras would still proceed tonight at 9pm tonight.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Penanti by-election - 4-corner fight - Star

May 23, 2009

BUKIT MERTAJAM: It is a four-cornered fight for the Penanti by-election on May 31.

The candidates were PKR's Mansor Othman and three independents - former Penang PKR Wanita chief Aminah Abdullah, company manager Nai-Khan Ari, 41, and motivational expert Kamarul Ramizu Idris, 42.

Returning officer Roslan Yahaya announced this at noon today.

Nomination papers from independent businessman Mohd Saberi Othman, 49, were not accepted.

When asked, Roslan told reporters that Mohd Saberi had not fulfilled all the conditions required for him to stand as candidate in Penanti but declined to elaborate further.

Attempts to get Mohd Saberi for his comments were unsuccessful.

Earlier, Mohd Saberi had joined the other four candidates in filing his nomination papers at the Youth Skills Development Institute here.

Six objections were raised during the objection period, including one against Kamarul's proposer, who is said to be not from Penanti.

Kamarul has stood as an independent and lost in the Bukit Gantang parliamentary against by-election.

The nomination process for the Penanti by-election was quieter than the other polls held previously.

Although some Pakatan Rakyat supporters have turned up at the nomination centre at the Youth Skills Development Institute here today, there was no taunting and shouting that have marred other by-elections.

However, the police were not taking any chance.

A police helicopter was spotted circling above the area while some 300 personnel have been mobilised to keep watch over the crowds.

The earliest to arrive today was Aminah, who came to the centre at 7.45am.

She was followed by Mohd Saberi and Nai-Kan, then Mansor.

Many of the Pakatan Rakyat leaders have turned up at the centre to give their support to Mansor.

Barisan Nasional has decided on May 18 to sit out on the by-election.

According to the 2008 electoral roll that was updated on April 16, the seat has a total of 15,384 registered voters, including 24 postal voters.

The electorate comprises 72.68% Malays, 24.22% Chinese, 2.39% Indians and 0.71% others.

The Penanti seat fell vacant after Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin quit as assemblyman on April 16 after stepping down as Penang Deputy Chief Minister (DCM) I on April 8.

Friday, May 22, 2009

BTN course teaches disunity - Star

May 22, 2009

AS parents we are glad that our grown up children attend the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) course, which is compulsory for government servants. They are all mature professionals.

But what angers me is that, instead of talking integrity, unity and harmony among the various races, participants are taught about disunity and racial hatred. Is this what our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib wants for 1MALAYSIA?

Throughout the five days of the course, participants are repeatedly told not to question Malay rights and so on. The course coordinators keep talking about social contracts and telling non-Malays not to question Malay rights and so on.

Many participants, including my Malay friends, are upset.

Are we still living in a primitive age? If the BTN course is to be conducted in this manner, it is better to abolish it or let it concentrate on only one ethnic group.

The course is not bringing unity but only arousing anger and hatred.

As it is handled by the Prime Minister’s office, please do not say that they do not know what is going on.

Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Zaid Ibrahim's Maiden Blog Posting

Hulubalang Utama Dato najib
21 05 2009

Dato Seri Najib dalam temuramahnya dalam Straits Times dan Business Times kelmarin menunjukkan sikap yang berani apabila beliau berkata bahawa cara tradisional yang digunakan olih kerajaan dalam menetukan kuota dan kepentingan ekuiti kapada bumiputra perlu dikaji semula. Ini kerana ia membantutkan pertumbuhan ekonomi negara dan juga apabila amalan meritokrasi diabaikan Bumiputra juga menjadi lemah. Cara agihan yang baru perludi perkenal dan dilaksanakan , kata nya.

Pengumuman besar yang berbunyi progresif dan liberal ini selalu didengar apabila kita ada PM yang baru.Dr Mahathir dan Abdullah Badawi juga melaungkan slogan dan dasar yang berbunyi progresif dan dan baru apabila mula mula jadi PM. Malangnya mereka tidak bersungguh sungguh menjayakan apa yang dikatakan.

Saya juga sangsi PM baru kita akan berjaya.Kalaudia berani dan mahu berubah mengapa wawancara dibuat dalam akhbar bahasa Inggeris bacaan orang bisness sahaja.Bukan kah lebih meyakinkan kita kalau wawancara itu dibuat dengan Utusan Malaysia, akhbar yang kata orang, pembina minda rakyat. Saya ingin melihat Dato Seri Najib membuat ucapan ini dan kupasan panjang lebar tentang perubahan Dasar Bumiputra ini dalam Kongress Khas UMNO mithal nya. Sudah sampai masa nya beliau membuat peta baru tentang arah tuju negara Malaysia dan Bangsa Malaysia. Dan juga peta baru untok UMNO

Apabila Dato Seri Najib mengatakan bahawa semua warlords (hulubalang) dalam UMNO adalah kawan beliau, dan dia lah warlord yang terbesar, saya bimbang kalau beliau merasa terlalu yakin atau overconfident. Olih kerana saya ingin melihat reformasi nya berjaya, saya ingin memberi pesan kapada nya bahawa warlords yang dikatakan kawan nya itu sabenarnya kawan kawan sementara sahaja. Tidak lama lagi beliau akan merasa tekanan dan ugutan. Mereka ini bisa dan bengis.Kalaupun Dato Seri Najib warlord yang utama buat masa ini, elok juga beliau menoleh kabelakang untuk keselamatan politik nya.

PM tidak perlu takut orang Melayu akan marah kepadanya kalau dia membuat perubahan terhadap dasar ekonomi . Perubahan yang adil dan yang memberi keutamaan kapada yang wajar dan yang memerlukan tidak akan menimbulkan kemarahan sesiapa, baik pun orang Melayu. Yang marah ialah golongan yang selalu mendapat habuan dan upah kerana mereka ada kaitan politik dan kaitan orang yang berkuasa.Yang diperlukan daripada PM ialah dia juga jangan takut kepada isu lama dan premis lama yang selalu digunakan untok mengekalkan status quo. Mereka yang tidak mahu kepada perubahan selalu suka menakut -nakutkan kerana itulah cara mereka mengekalkan pengaruh dan kuasa.


Judgment day tomorrow in MB vs MB case - The Malaysian Insider

Nizar and his wife taking a break from the hearing. - Picture by Choo Choy May

PUTRAJAYA, May 21 — The Court of Appeal will decide tomorrow if it agrees with the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s ruling that Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin is the rightful Perak mentri besar.

A three men panel heard submissions today from lawyers representing Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) Nizar, in what was a repeat of the protracted trial in the High Court.

Both teams put forward the same arguments they made during the high court case.

Zambry’s team arguing that Article 16 (6) of the Perak constitution allowed the state ruler to ask the MB to resign if he is deemed to have lost the confidence of the state assembly.

Nizar’s lawyers contended that a state chief executive can only be deemed to have lost the confidence of the legislature through a vote in the state assembly.
Justice Raus Shariff says question before court is whether the trial judge had interpreted the Perak Constitution correctly.

"If wrong, the appeal will be allowed, if right, the appeal will be dismissed," he said.

The following day Zambry filed an appeal and obtained a stay order from Court of Appeal judge Ramly Ali who had sat as a single judge.

Following this Nizar filed his own application to set aside the stay order granted to Zambry.

Nizar's application is to set aside the stay order obtained by Zambry against the High Court ruling which had declared Nizar as the legitimate mentri besar.

He had also requested that the matter be heard by a five-member Court of Appeal panel, instead of the usual three, as it was a matter of public interest and touched on constitutional issues.

However, Nizar failed to get his request. It is learnt that his letter of request did not reach the Court of Appeal president Alauddin Md Sheriff on time.

This morning, the parties agreed that Zambry's appeal will be heard first.

The three-member panel hearing the matter comprises Justices Abdul Raus Sharif, Datuk Zainun Ali and Ahmad Maarop.

This legal battle between Nizar and Zambry is largely seen by many as the final judicial attempt by either party to stamp their authority as the rightful and legitimate Perak menteri besar.

The hearing is expected to take a few days before the court makes a ruling on both the matters before it.

The hearing began with Zambry's counsel Datuk Cecil Abraham arguing that High Court judge Abdul Aziz Ab Rahim had not given proper weight to the evidence produced on the legality of Zambry's appointment.

Cecil said the evidence had showed that the Sultan of Perak had ordered Nizar to resign which the latter had refused to do so.

The constitutional provision provides that Nizar resign following the Sultan's directive, said counsel.

Cecil said the Ruler was only exercising his royal prerogative under Article 16(6) of the Perak constitution to reject Nizar's request for the assembly to be dissolved.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, who has intervened in the matter to assist the court, started his submissions after Cecil ended his.

Gani said there were no provisions under the Perak constitution for a mentri besar to be voted out through a vote of no confidence to show that he had lost the majority in the House.

He argued that if the mentri besar had lost the confidence of the House, he must resign.

Nizar's lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah submitted after the lunch break.

He said that there was no provision in the state constitution that gave express power for the sultan to sack a mentri besar.

He argued that the Sultan could dismiss the state exco but not the MB.

July 30 hearing for Anwar case on his sacking from Cabinet - Star

May 21, 2009 By M. MAGESWARI

Pix courtesy of Malaysiakini

PUTRAJAYA:The Federal Court has set July 30 for PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to challenge the legality of his dismissal as the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister in 1998.

A Federal Court registry official confirmed yesterday that the case, which was initially scheduled to be heard yesterday had to be rescheduled.

Court of Appeal president Justice Alauddin Mohd Sheriff was scheduled to chair a three-man panel yesterday. The two other members are Federal Court judges Justice Hashim Yusoff and Justice Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusoff.

Senior Federal Counsels Datuk Kamaludin Md Said, Azizan Mohd Arshad and Lailawati Ali were present for the respondents yesterday.

The apex court had on June 16 last year granted leave for Anwar to challenge his sacking by the-then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Sept 2, 1998.

The apex court will determine two questions of law - whether Anwar’s sacking was unconstitutional or not, and whether Dr Mahathir could sack his deputy without first advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Upholding a December 1998 High Court decision to strike out Anwar’s civil action, the Court of Appeal had on April 25, 2007 held that his sacking from his Cabinet posts in 1998 by Dr Mahathir was lawful.

It ruled that the Prime Minister has the power to dismiss any Minister in the Cabinet and he could at any time advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who is bound to act on his advice.

Court of Appeal judges Justices Zulkefli Ahmad, Md Raus Sharif and Heliliah Mohd Yusof unanimously dismissed Anwar’s appeal against the High Court decision to summarily strike out his suit against the Prime Minister and the Government for dismissing him in 1998.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Perak: Solution lies in the dissolution - Malaysiakini

P Ramakrishnan | May 20, 09 4:51pm

There must have been a valid reason for stating that the law is an ass. Now we understand why it is so. The open-handed stay order granted by a single judge - Ramly Ali - of the court of appeal confirms why the law is an ass.

On May 11, High Court Justice Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim in a well-argued judgment declared that Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin was the duly appointed Perak Menteri Besar at all material times and that Zambry Abdul Kadir was never the MB of Perak at any material time. In other words, Zambry has no business to be or pretend to be the MB of Perak.

The high court decision had positively removed all doubts and confusion as to who was the rightful and legitimate MB of Perak.

The next day, May 12, Ramly muddied the water by granting a stay order on the high court decision without any conditions. This decision confounded the nation and left everyone dumbfounded.

As a result of this absurd decision of Ramly, the position of the genuine MB has been undermined and has left him in a limbo unable to discharge his duties and serve the needs of Perakians.

But on the other hand, the stay order seems to have given the man who never was the MB of Perak at any time whatsoever a second lease of life to occupy the MB's chair. This ridiculous situation has bewildered every thinking Malaysian into a state of utter confusion .

If Ramly had granted a conditional order restraining both Nizar and Zambry from acting as MB in order to enable Nizar's suit seeking to set aside this order to be heard and decided then such a decision would have been acceptable.

But this order had made a mockery of the law and shattered the people's confidence in our judiciary. This is the reason why people have so little trust in the system of justice. This is why people despair when decisions are dished out by our courts.

We must be realistic and realise that ultimately, the debacle and the dilemma confronting Perakians cannot be decided by the courts. The courts would only delay the outcome and prolong the uncertainties and provoke further political reactions endangering the peace and harmony enjoyed by the people for the last one year.

It is important to realise that this problem cannot be solved by the courts. Only two people can bring relief to this dangerous situation.

One of them is the prime minister who was implicated in causing this problem in Perak. He has stated that he wants to feel the pulse of the people so that he could be the people's PM. He must know what the feeling on the ground is.

The senate president, the chairperson of Suhakam, MCA, Gerakan, eminent lawyers, concerned citizens, civil society and a host of prominent and caring individuals have called for the dissolution of the Perak state assembly to overcome the present political stalemate in Perak.

He should heed these feelings and demands of the people and make a second trip to the palace and plead with His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Perak, to dissolve the Perak state assembly. He cannot ignore this groundswell any longer if he lays any claim in wanting to be the people's PM.

He must undo the present mess in Perak and restore stability in that state. He must rise above politics and act as a statesman in the interest of the country. This is one duty that he must perform as soon as possible with all sincerity.

The other personage who can definitely and incisively resolve the political turmoil and the upheaval in Perak is His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Perak. The sultan by now must know how angry and upset his subjects are that three unscrupulous politicians have subverted democracy and overturned a people's government by their unbecoming conduct. They have frustrated a duly elected government of the people and made nonsense of the democratic will of the people.

His Royal Highness must take cognisance of the sound and persuasive judgment of the high court on May 11.

His Royal Highness must surely be aware that more suits filed in the courts will only delay and contribute to more frustrations; they need not necessarily mean more justice for this politically unresolved matter.

His Royal Highness must surely be aware that his subjects want a political settlement and it is they who must decide who should form their state government.

To enable the Perakians to solve this problem that has been festering like a sore wound for more than three months, please dissolve the Perak state assembly.

There is no other way, no other solution.

Pakatan wants scholarships for all top scorers - The Malaysian Insider

Lim makes a point at the forum. With him are Nik Nazmi (centre) and Pua. — Picture by Jacky Ooi

By Melissa Loovi

KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is urging the Cabinet to issue a directive to ensure all top scorers in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination be given Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships.

It should also disclose the full criteria and list of recipients, PR leaders demanded at a public forum on the PSD scholarship issue last night.

"If not, then the Najib Cabinet is even worse than the ‘half-past six’ Cabinet of the previous PM Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, as condemned by former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad," DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said of Datuk Seri Najib Razak's administration.

Lim was referring to a statement by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz in March when he said that if a top scorer was not granted a scholarship, it would be an "injustice."

If necessary, the Ipoh Timur MP said PR would support a supplementary budget Bill in Parliament to increase the allocation for PSD scholarships from RM700 million to RM1 billion to ensure that all top scorers received scholarships.

He added that making public the criteria and recipients of the 10,000 local and 2,000 overseas scholarships "in the name of fairness, accountability and transparency is the least that the Cabinet should do at its meeting" today.

Other PR leaders present also reiterated that a full review and revamp of the current system is required, stressing an emphasis on merit over other considerations.

PKR's Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad also called for more transparency in the process of awarding the scholarships, pointing out that the funding for the scholarships came from the taxpayers.

"It is the taxpayers' money after all, so we should ensure that the best and brightest people get the scholarships in a transparent manner," said the political secretary to Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

DAP's youth wing chief Anthony Loke stressed that while certain allocations had been made, such as 20 per cent of scholarships being awarded based on merit, the issue remained that terms such as "merit" or "disadvantaged" were not made clear to the public.

"We want transparency so that the full list of JPA scholarships are made known to the public and we have raised this in Parliament, only to be told ‘the process is fair and just but we don't reveal names’," said the Rasah MP.

His sentiments were echoed by Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkifli Ahmad. "What is the status of rights in Malaysia if even matters of education cannot be resolved in a just manner?"

The PAS research chief added that meritocracy is "universal and very Islamic" and expressed his disappointment that young Malaysians were "subjected to this kind of poor leadership and governance."

DAP information chief Tony Pua suggested several reforms for the government to consider in light of the annual bout of appeals from school-leavers whose seemingly excellent academic qualifications have not been enough to guarantee scholarships.

"Why not allow the students to apply for university placements first so that these renowned institutions can process their application before our governments awards the scholarships?" asked the Petaling Jaya Utara MP.

Pua added that using STPM, A-levels or pre-university results rather than SPM would also help with the issue of too few scholarships for an ever-increasing slew of straight A students.

DAPSY slams arrest of leaders at candlelight vigil - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 — Police tonight continued their tough stance against protests as they arrested Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching and Teratai assemblywoman Jenice Lee at a candle-light vigil in Seputeh.

DAP Socialist Youth executive secretary Lim Zhen Hui confirmed Teo and Lee were among those arrested at the start of the vigil.

“DAPSY staunchly condemns the arrest of DAPSY leaders and members at a candlelight vigil in Seputeh earlier tonight,” Lim said in a statement.

“At a time when the people of Malaysia are mourning the accelerated death of democracy in this country fuelled by the shameful events in Perak, the police has reinforced the idea that democracy does not exist in this country.

“DAPSY demands the immediate release of all DAPSY leaders and members that were unjustly locked up tonight, and calls for the government to revive the democratic process to save the face of our nation that has been tainted by numerous scandals and instances of human rights abuse,” Lim added.

MP and rep among 11 arrested - Star

May 20, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: An MP and an assemblyman were among 11 people arrested following a candlelight vigil here calling for the dissolution of the Perak state assembly.

Serdang MP Teo Nie Chin and Teratai assemblyman Jenice Lee, both in their 20s, were arrested outside the Seputeh MP Teresa Kok’s office, near Jalan Kuchai Lama, at 8.20pm yesterday.

More than a dozen participants, who were all dressed in black and held posters, called for the dissolution of the assembly.

Police personnel, who kept a close watch on the protesters, gave them a deadline to disperse from the gathering.

When they did not heed the warning, police had to move in and arrested the 11 people.

Brickfields OCPD Asst Comm Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid confirmed the arrests and added that the gathering was illegal as there was no permit issued.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why no Federal Court written judgment on Perak – The Malaysian Insider

By NH Chan

MAY 19 - Do you know why the Federal Court is not giving a written judgment in the Perak debacle?

The answer can be simply put. It is because Article 72 (1) of the Federal Constitution is written in unambiguous language which even a child can understand.

As I have said before in an earlier article that the words, “The validity of any proceedings in the Legislative Assembly of any State shall not be questioned in any court”, mean what they say.

Nothing can be plainer than that. No one in his right senses would try to interpret the obvious meaning of the words in Article 72, unless he wants to say the words mean something else. But the Federal Court was not prepared to do that. And the reason is because they do not want to be known as Humpty Dumpty judges.

Remember Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carrol’s, “Through the looking Glass?”:

“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”

So the judges of the Federal Court did the unthinkable. They blatantly refused to apply the constitutional provision as it stands. They ignored it altogether.

But by so doing they have committed the cardinal sin of not administering justice according to law. It is the duty of every judge, indeed it is his only function, to administer justice according to law. And the law, in this context, is Article 72 (1) of the Federal Constitution which is the supreme law of the land.

Said Lord Denning, What Next in the Law, p 319:

“Parliament is supreme. Every law enacted by Parliament must be obeyed to the letter. No matter how unreasonable or unjust it may be, nevertheless, the judges have no option. They must apply the statute as it stands.”

Since the judges of the Federal Court, especially the infamous five, have refused to apply Article 72 (1) as it stands, they have, as a result, impaled themselves on the horns of their own dilemma.

They have, so to speak, placed themselves between the devil and the deep blue sea. Either way their position is untenable. By refusing to apply Article 72(1) of the Federal Constitution as it stands they would be guilty of a misuse of power.

As put by Lord Denning, ibid, p 380:

“May not the judges themselves sometimes abuse or misuse their power? It is their duty to administer and apply the law of the land. If they should divert it or depart from it and do so knowingly, they themselves would be guilty of a misuse of power.

And, in this country, this could be a ground for the judges to be removed from office. This is what section 2 of the Judges’ Code of Ethics 1994 says:

2. (1) This Code of Ethics shall apply throughout the period of his service.

(2) The breach of any provision of this Code of Ethics may constitute a ground for the removal of a judge from office.

And section 3 (1)(d) says:

3. (1) A judge shall not -

(d) conduct himself dishonestly or in such a manner as to bring the Judiciary into disrepute or to bring discredit thereto;

Judging by the unfair treatment of Nizar in his encounter with the Federal Court, public opinion has no doubt that the judges of the Federal Court has brought discredit to the Judiciary. The words of section 3(1)(d) are so clear and easy to understand that we do not need any court of law to explain it to us ordinary folk. We know what the words mean.

By not administering and applying the law, which in this case is the supreme law, of the land as it stands the errant judges have brought discredit to the judiciary – a ground for their removal from office.

And if the Government of the day failed to listen to the voice of the people then they have placed themselves in jeopardy of losing the next general election or any by-election or any State election in the future.

And finally, what about Ramly JCA the judge who had acted with indecent haste when he granted a stay to Zambry of the well-considered judgment of Abdul Aziz J.

Zambry was appealing against the High Court judge’s declaratory order in favour of Nizar. Like the judges of the Federal Court, he has not given any reason for his decision.

Ramly JCA granted the stay of the declaration which Nizar had obtained against Zambry. The judge was unable to explain why he granted the stay. As any lawyer will tell you it is unusual to stay a declaratory order. If such a stay is to be granted, there are legal arguments to be considered from both sides and the judge will have to say why he prefers the argument of one side as against the other.

The people’s perception of him as an unfair judge is the same as that of the errant judges of the Federal Court. Ramly JCA is in no better position than his seniors in the Federal Court.

N H Chan is a retired judge who last sat in the Court of Appeals.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Unfair award of PSD scholarships

May 15, 2009 By Lim Kit Siang

Unfair award of PSD scholarships - suspend PSD DG for insurbordination or Ong Tee Keat should resign as Minister for failure to implement Cabinet policy decided in March

Yesterday, MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat announced that the Government will review the selection criteria for Public Services Department scholarships and that a meeting the same day would be held among Barisan Nasional component party leaders, the PSD director-general and the Chief Secretary to the Government to discuss the matter and reconsider rejected cases.

However, the most senior MCA Minister was contradicted yesterday itself by the Public Service Department director-general, Tan Sri Ismail Adam, as reported in today’s New Straits Times, which carried the headline “’No review of PSD scholarship selection criteria’”, viz:

PUTRAJAYA: There will be no review of the selection criteria for Public Service Department scholarships, PSD director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam said yesterday.

He said he had not received any directive to reconsider the criteria.

Unsuccessful applicants for scholarships had until Monday to appeal, he added.

MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said on Wednesday there would be a review of the PSD criteria for giving out scholarships.

Ismail denied there was a meeting among Barisan Nasional component party leaders, the chief secretary to the government and himself, as claimed by Ong.

Ismail also denied Ong’s claims on the current selection criteria.

Who is lying? The MCA President or the PSD DG?

If it is the MCA President, then Ong should resign; but if it is the PSD director-general, then Ismail should be suspended from office immediately for public insurbordination of a Cabinet Minister and the Cabinet!

This period of the year has been described as the “annual begging season” when Malaysians have to beg for scholarships from the PSD although they are entitled to them because of their excellent academic results and meritocracy.

This is followed by the annual rigmarole of Barisan Nasional component parties trying to champion aggrieved students who had been by-passed in the PSD scholarships despite having brilliant academic results, when all these injustices and power abuses would have been prevented if there is in place a fair and transparent PSD scholarship system which is not prey to discriminatory regulations or the whims and fancies of individual bureaucrats.

Malaysians were as good as promised that they would be spared this humiliating “annual begging season” this year as there is now a new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now.”

This slogan captured beautifully what was wrong with the PSD scholarship awards in the past years as to turn this period into an “annual begging season” – precisely because they failed to observe all the three criteria of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”.

It is an indictment of the hollowness of Najib’s slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” that the “annual begging season” is again being played out after the PSD announced results of its foreign degree scholarships last Friday.

Yesterday, Najib said he wanted to be the People’s Prime Minister.

He said the government must “listen to the pulse of the nation” which was the reason why he started his walkabouts.

He said:

“I went to Puduraya (bus terminal) so that I could smell the sweat, the grime and the dust. This is totally different if I were to listen to a briefing on the terminal by the mayor in my air-conditioned room. You are able to look deeply and assess the real situation.

“I do not want formality, red-carpet welcomes, garlands and so on. I just want to continue going down to the ground. Even if there is no (media) coverage, it is OK as I want to be the people’s prime minister.”

This is all well and good and commendable, if he really wants to empathise with the cares and woes of ordinary Malaysians, why had Najib been insensitive to the cries of outrage of Malaysian for the past week at the injustices of the PSD foreign degree scholarship awards?

Why had Najib failed to intervene personally to resolve the issue even after the subject had been raised in the Cabinet on Wednesday – especially as PSD comes directly under the responsibility of the Prime Minister?

In fact, the present batch of Cabinet Ministers are guilty of serious remiss of responsibility in failing to resolve the problem at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, as Tan Sri Bernard Dompok had announced as far back as March (Star 27.3.09) details of a new PSD scholarship scheme for foreign degrees, viz: 20 per cent or 400 of 2,000 scholarships for excellent students, 60 per cent or 1,200 scholarships for bumiputra and non-bumiputra SPM leavers; 10 per cent for 200 scholarships for Sabah and Sarawak bumiputra SPM leavers; the remaining 10 per cent for disabled students who excelled in their studies.

Why has this new PSD foreign degree scholarship scheme not been implemented? Was there insubordination by the “Little Napoleons” in the PSD?

Even if there had been insurbordination by “Little Napoleons” in the PSD, why were the Cabinet Ministers so ineffective and impotent at the last Cabinet meeting as not able to ensure that the new PSD scholarship scheme decided by the previous Cabinet is carried out without any sabotage or insurbodination?

According to last year’s SPM results, three students scored 16 1As, two scored 15 1As, six 14 1As, 41 of them scored 13 1As while 229 scored 12 1As.

Have everyone of these SPM top-scorers been awarded PSD scholarships if the new system of meritocracy is in place? Malaysians are entitled to a clear answer.

In the past week, the press have been full of reports of SPM top-scorers with 14 1As, 13 1As, 12 1As, 11 1As and 10 1As (like the case of Ma Ye Voon of Seremban which was raised by DAP MP for Rasah Anthony Loke) who had been by-passed in the PSD foreign degree scholarship awards, while others with seven or eight 1As are successful.

The MIC Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk S. K. Devamany had advised those who had failed to secure a PSD scholarship not to despair as there are many other opportunities.

The issue is not about disappointment or sense of despair of students bypassed in the PSD scholarships, but the sense of injustice that they are victims of a system which is blatantly unfair and discriminatory! What are the Ministers and Deputy Ministers doing to end such an unfair and unjust system so that unsuccessful applicants for PSD scholarships do not go away nursing a life-long burning sense of injustice and grievance?

The PSD interviewed 8,363 out of the 15,084 candidates who had applied for 2,000 scholarships under the foreign degree programme between March 31 and April 3. Those unsuccessful have been given until Monday, 18th May, to appeal.

But how is the PSD going to give scholarships to SPM top-scorers without doing a new injustice, in withdrawing scholarships to the existing batch of 2,000 successful students?

Is the government prepared to increase and even double the number of PSD foreign degree scholarships this year?

The 2009 budget for local and foreign scholarships is RM233 million – which is a small fraction of the gross waste of public funds in other sectors, like the RM12 billion Port Klang Free Zone scandal, for which Malaysians are still waiting for Ong Tee Keat to fulfil his promise to “tell all” and make public the PricewaterhouseCoopers report on the PKFZ scandal.

If the government does not squander public funds in mega-scandals like the RM12 billion PKFZ scandal, it would find no difficulty in doubling or even trebling the budget for PSD scholarships, as the RM12 billion which is reported to be the latest update on the total costs which have to be borne by the taxpayers for the project is some 50 times of the annual PSD scholarship allocation!

I call on Najib to give his personal attention to ensure that all the SPM top-scorers with more than 10 1As are awarded PSD scholarships, as a first step to make his slogan “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” really meaningful.

'No review of PSD scholarship selection criteria' - NST

May 15, 2009

PUTRAJAYA: There will be no review of the selection criteria for Public Service Department scholarships, PSD director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam said yesterday.
He said he had not received any directive to reconsider the criteria.

Unsuccessful applicants for scholarships had until Monday to appeal, he added.

MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said on Wednesday there would be a review of the PSD criteria for giving out scholarships.

Ismail denied there was a meeting among Barisan Nasional component party leaders, the chief secretary to the government and himself, as claimed by Ong.
Ismail also denied Ong's claims on the current selection criteria.

Ong was reported to have said that the selection was based on four criteria -- merit (20 per cent), race (60 per cent), Sabah and Sarawak residents (10 per cent) and students from underprivileged groups (10 per cent).

"I think he may have confused it with the distribution of scholarships. We practise a meritocracy system with the criteria: academic (75 per cent), co-curricular activities (10 per cent), family background (10 per cent) and interview (five per cent)."

He said the choice of courses played a crucial role on whether candidates were awarded a scholarship or not.

He said since the results of the offer were announced last Friday, his department had received more than 2,000 appeals.

Calls for fresh Perak elections hard to ignore - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — The worsening crisis in Perak is fast becoming a political runaway train that is lurching out of control for the Barisan Nasional government.

Unless the paralysis in Perak is quickly resolved, the crisis could define the first 100 days in office of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and distract his administration's attention away from managing the slumping economy, analysts and politicians say.

Already, several senior politicians from Najib's own ruling Umno party are calling on the government to dissolve the state assembly and pave the way for fresh elections.

Calling for fresh polls, former Umno vice-president Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah wrote in his widely followed blog: “At this stage, there is no other way to restore both public confidence and constitutional legality to the Perak state government and, by extension, our entire system of government.”

For now, Najib is reluctant to go down that path because a drubbing for BN in a snap poll is a foregone conclusion.

There is also the question of personal pride. Najib personally led the campaign to wrest power in Perak in early February, just weeks before being installed as premier.

To back down now could be interpreted as political weakness by his followers in his embattled party.

But as the crisis worsens, many analysts and senior politicians say that his government's determination to cling on to power amid growing public opprobrium will only enhance the franchise of the opposition coalition.

The Perak impasse has also raised concerns over the independence of institutions such as the civil service, the country's security agencies and the justice system.

Last week's shocking removal of the Speaker of the state assembly — who is from Pakatan Rakyat — by government security personnel, as well as the arrests of opposition supporters, prompted a surprisingly sharp reaction from the state-backed Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, better known as Suhakam.

“It somewhat makes us wonder whether service to the people is subordinated to service to political interests,” Suhakam's chairman Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, who was also one of the country’s longest-serving attorneys-general, said in a statement.

Echoing a view shared by politicians from both sides of the divide, he also noted that “perhaps the time has come for the people of Perak to be given the opportunity to exercise their right to choose again the government of their choice”.

The power grab has also inadvertently boosted the popularity of the opposition, particularly PAS.

A key beneficiary has been the ousted Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, who is from PAS.

The soft-spoken politician has succeeded in capturing the imagination of the Perak people with his populist policies.

More importantly, Nizar's stoic response to the Umno-led onslaught, which among other things included labelling him a traitor to the Malay community, has improved the political standing of PAS as a national party that can be counted on to protect the interests of non-Malays.

BN and Najib were presented with an opportunity to stop the Perak runaway train this week. The High Court's decision on Monday to declare Nizar as the rightful menteri besar and Nizar's call for fresh state elections offered a way out of the mess.

For sure, the outcome would not have been ideal because fresh state elections would undoubtedly see the ruling coalition get soundly defeated at the ballot box.

Still, it would have removed Perak from the national agenda and allowed the ruling coalition to focus its attention on renewing its appeal among voters.

By digging its heels in over Perak, the Najib administration is only providing the opposition with ammunition against the government that will last it until the next general election, which must be held before 2013.

As the saying goes, opposition parties do not win elections. Governments lose them

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kenyataan Media Pakatan Rakyat

By Anwar Ibrahim

Kenyataan Akhbar Majlis Pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat

14 Mei 2009

Majlis Pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat telah mengadakan pertemuan di Pejabat PAS Jalan Raja Laut dan telah mengambil keputusan berikut:

Pakatan Rakyat mengambil sikap terbuka dan bersedia untuk bertemu dengan YAB Perdana Menteri untuk memperkukuhkan demokrasi dan institusi kerajaan negeri Perak. Kami mengulangi pendirian bahawa mandat seharusnya diserahkan kembali kepada rakyat Perak untuk menentukan kerajaan yang sah.

Kami mengambil maklum bahawa terdapat badan-badan dan individu seperti Yang DiPertua Dewan Negara, institusi seperti Suhakam, Majlis Peguam, ahli akademik, pemimpin dari parti komponen BN dan pelbagai pihak lain yang berpandangan bahawa penyelesaian terbaik bagi masalah Perak adalah dengan membubarkan Dewan Undangan Negeri bagi membolehkan pilihanraya baru diadakan.

Pakatan Rakyat juga kesal dengan tindakan junta Myanmar yang telah menangkap pejuang hak asasi Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi atas tuduhan rasuah. Tuduhan tersebut adalah tidak munasabah dan tidak dapat diterima. Sehubungan dengan itu pihak kami menggesa kerajaan ASEAN untuk mengambil tindakan dan mendesak Myanmar membebaskan beliau tanpa syarat.

Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim
Dato’ Seri Abdul Hadi
Lim Kit Siang

Najib says it again, we can talk about Perak but ... - The Malaysian Insider

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

PUTRAJAYA, May 14 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today reiterated that Barisan Nasional is willing to talk to Pakatan Rakyat in order to resolve the political deadlock in Perak but stressed that there must be no preconditions.

"It must also be done with respect towards the rules, inside or outside the state assembly, and there must not be any preconditions," the prime minister told a press conference today.

In a bid to find a solution to the three-month-old impasse in Perak, Pakatan leaders said they are willing to let their guard down and cooperate with rivals BN in finding ways to resolve the matter.

However, BN must agree to dissolve the state assembly and hold fresh elections before Pakatan leaders would agree to sit down and talk but Najib today said it is not for him to decide if the state assembly should be dissolved or not.

"That is up to the Sultan to decide," he said.

Although Najib's statement is technically correct, the public and especially Perakians believe that BN's reluctance to agree to the dissolution of the state assembly to pave the way for fresh elections is because the ruling coalition fears that it would perform poorly just as it did in past by-elections.

Najib, however, said BN fears no one and is always willing to face the music.

"BN is not afraid. We have to face the rakyat and we will face the rakyat. We have faced the rakyat many times," he said.

Meanwhile, Najib also commented on PAS spiritual leader Datuk Seri Nik Aziz Nik Mat’s rejection towards the unity government proposal, saying that Umno had never proposed anything to the Islamic-based party as claimed by many.

"So how can you (Nik Aziz) reject what was never even proposed in the first place," he said.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Who is the legitimate MB of Perak now?

Is it Nizar?
Pix courtesy of The Star

Or is it Zambry?
Pix courtesy of The Malaysian Insider

Come on Najib, we Perakian do not need your 1Malaysia. We need 1Perak, Perakian First and Election now. Got it? Let Perakian decide what is best for them NOT the court.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dissolve state assembly, Ku Li urges Sultan - Star

May 12, 3009 By SYED AZHAR

KOTA BARU: Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has urged the Sultan of Perak to dissolve the Assembly to prevent the political imbroglio in the state from spiralling out of control.

In a blog posting on Monday, he noted that he had written on Feb 7 that Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin was still the legal mentri besar despite the takeover by Barisan Nasional.

He had said then that according to the state constitution, Nizar was the mentri besar until he resigned of his own accord or was removed by a vote of no confidence in a formal sitting of the Assembly.

The Perak constitution makes no provision for his removal by any other means, including by petitions or instructions from any other authority, he had written then.

“Today, after three months and yet more shameful scenes, the High Court affirmed the same elementary principle, and held that Nizar has been and remains the mentri besar,” Tengku Razaleigh wrote on Monday,

The High Court also ordered Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir and his executive officers to vacate their offices, and rejected an application from Zambry for a stay of proceedings pending an appeal.

Tengku Razaleigh urged the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, to dissolve the Assembly.

“This is the decent thing to do, but also the only way out of a crisis which has already spiralled out of Perak, damaged the rule of law, compromised the judiciary, the police and the state civil service, and damaged the monarchy in public opinion,” he said.

He said the Dr Zambry’s administration had been illegitimate all along and all decisions and contracts were made without legal status.

“The cascade of illegalities we warned of must now be unwound painfully. This includes the deplorable events of May 7 in Ipoh. It means the resolution to replace the Speaker was brought by an illegal state government,” he added.

In his no holds barred style, Tengku Razaleigh also said that the monarchy itself has been embarrassed by this episode, as well as by “a systematic programme by some to inflame this issue into one of race and treason.”

“Such attempts only hurt the institutions they claim to protect, and they hurt Umno and Barisan Nasional.

“The real issue has always been the Constitution and the Rule of Law, and the monarchy is protected in its role of upholding the primacy of the Constitution.

“Umno is not well served by leaders who place short-term political objectives above the Constitution,” he added.

Perak assembly: Police behaviour illegal, unacceptable - Malaysiakini

By Tan Sri Ramon V Navaratnam | May 11, 09 3:55pm

We refer to the Malaysiakini report on Sivakumar dragged out, BN speaker takes over.

The Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) is deeply troubled by the manner in which proceedings were held in the Perak state assembly.

The shouting matches and ensuing scuffles as well as the removal by force of the speaker were most regrettable. It painted a very poor image of Malaysia at home and on the international stage.

Even more troubling was the conduct of the police in this matter. The police’ presence inside the assembly, whilst arrogating the powers of the speaker and employing force to remove him from the assembly is unacceptable and illegal.

Furthermore, the harassment and mass arrests of protesters was a violation of human rights, specifically the freedom of expression, which is guaranteed in our constitution.

The CPPS urges the police to exercise greater restraint when facing dissent and to respect the principles of human rights and our federal constitution as well as the rule of law, which form the very principles of democracy promoted by our founding fathers.

The CPPS further notes that the current crisis in the state of Perak has gone for far too long.

It has created much restlessness, resentment, displeasure and great uncertainty amongst the rakyat.

The CPPS believes that it is time to go back to the polls and allow the 'rakyat', whom governments ultimately serve, to elect their leadership in a free and fair election.

Only through fresh elections can we hope to move forward from this current stalemate and focus on the many socio-economic and political challenges facing our country today.

This is important not only for Perakians but all Malaysians as the future of our democracy is at stake.

Tan Sri Ramon V Navaratnam is chairperson, Centre for Public Policy Studies

Monday, May 11, 2009

Judge orders Zambry, excos to vacate posts - Malaysiakini

May 11, 09 4:05pm

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has also ordered Barisan Nasional MB Zambry Abdul Kadir and his six executive councillors to vacate their posts with immediate effect.

Justice Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim said this must be done in order for Pakatan Rakyat’s ousted menteri besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin and his excos to move back into their offices.

The court also ordered for a fresh state elections to be held.

Commenting on the judgment, opposition stalwart Lim Kit Siang said Mohammad Nizar will seek an audience with Perak ruler Sultan Azlan Shah to seek his approval to dissolve the state assembly.

"This is a great judgment. This is the first time the court has restored public confidence in the judiciary," he added.

Nizar is rightful MB: High Court - Star

May 11. 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here ruled rule on Monday that Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin is the rightful Perak Mentri Besar, and not Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.

In an immediate response, Zambry said he would apply for a stay pending appeal.

In his ruling, Justice Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim said that a new mentri besar could not be appointed as the office had not been vacated.

He said a mentri besar can only be dismissed by a vote of no confidence, and upheld the Stephen Kalong Ningkan ruling.

He noted that the Perak State Legislative did not hold a vote of no confidence.

In 1966, Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Stephen Kalong Ningkan was ousted when the state governor showed him a letter of no confidence issued by 21 out of 42 legislators and asked Ningkan to resign.

Ningkan refused, saying the letters were not tantamount to a vote of no confidence in the state legislative assembly. He was sacked by the governor but eventually reinstated by the Borneo High Court, which saw the necessity of a formal vote of no confidence.

According to the Nutgraph, the judge ruled ruled that the governor can only dismiss the chief minister when both these conditions are satisfied:

(a) The chief minister has lost the confidence of the House, and

(b) The chief minister has refused to resign and failed to advise a dissolution.

Nizar had filed for a judicial review on Feb 13, seeking a declaration that he is the rightful mentri besar of Perak and an injunction to bar Dr Zambry from discharging his duties as the mentri besar.

On March 6, Justice Lau Bee Lan had ruled that there were constitutional issues involving the interpretation of Article 16 (6) of the Perak Constitution and later referred four consitutional questions to the Federal Court for determination.

However, on March 23, the Federal Court ruled that the case of who the rightful mentri besar is should be heard by the High Court.

Nizar’s lead counsel Sulaiman Abdullah, in wrapping up his submissions last week, said the Constitution was the “genius of the Malaysian people”, adding that the court had a duty to uphold it. Over the last few days, he had submitted that the Sultan, while granted powers in the Perak Constitution to appoint a mentri besar, could not dismiss him.

The only way Nizar could be dismissed, he said, was through a vote of no-confidence in the House.

He also said that a mentri besar could request for the State Assembly to be dissolved in the middle of a term without losing the confidence of the majority of the House.

Dr Zambry’s lawyer Datuk Cecil Abraham, however, argued that Nizar went by Article 16(6) of the Perak Constitution when he sought an audience with the Sultan – this article specifically provides for the mentri besar to request for a dissolution when he has lost the confidence of the majority in the House.

Under the article, Nizar is required to tender the resignation of his executive councillors when his request was rejected, he said.

Nizar is expected to seek an audience with the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, to get his consent to dissolve the Assembly and call for fresh state elections.

Court rules Nizar as legitimate MB - Malaysiakini

May 11, 09 10:54am

The Kuala Lumpur High Court today paved the way for a fresh round of battle in Perak by declaring that BN's Zambry Abd Kadir is not the legitimate menteri besar of Perak.

The decision by justice Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim today rubberstamped ousted Pakatan Rakyat MB Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin's argument that he is still the legitimate menteri besar.

Zambry's lawyer Cecil Abraham's application for a stay of proceedings pending an appeal was also rejected by the court.

The decision is now set to bring about more uncertainty in the state.

Only last Thursday Zambry and the BN coalition had made some inroads on the state assembly by gaining an upper hand by removing the Pakatan appointed speaker V Sivakumar and replaced him with R Ganesan from MIC.

Nizar had sought a declaration that he was the he was the rightful menteri besar and to prevent Zambry from discharging his duty.

The state has been in a political impasse since February after Sultan Azlan Shah urged Nizar to step down and appointed Zambry as the menteri besar.

The sultan's decision was based on the defection of three Pakatan elected representatives to become BN-friendly independents.

Nizar however has questioned the legitimacy of Zambry's appointment and has been pushing for the state assembly to be dissolved so that fresh elections could be held.

Nizar's lawyers previously argued in the court that if he got the declaration, he would seek a fresh mandate to resolve the political deadlock.

At present Pakatan and BN have 28 seats each in the state assembly but the three BN-friendly independents have shaded the power towards the BN side.

Manoharan: Pakatan helped all they could - The Malaysian Insider

By Melissa Loovi

KUALA LUMPUR, 10 May - Despite leader P. Waythamoorthy and his brother P. Uthayakumar's apparent frustrations with Pakatan Rakyat for not doing more to speed up the Hindraf trio's release, fellow founder of the Indian rights group, M. Manoharan, firmly disagrees.

"People like Karpal Singh and even Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim did all they could to help get me and the others released," said the newly-released 48-year old lawyer at a Mother's Day celebration organised at his Kota Alam Shah service centre today.

"They, and other Pakatan representatives, appealed to the courts repeatedly and Tan Sri Khalid even approached the Sultan (of Selangor) on my behalf but the Sultan said the matter could only be dealt with by the Agong."

Manoharan's words come after Uthayakumar yesterday voiced his dissatisfaction with the lack of help given by the opposition coalition in getting the Hindraf detainees released.

Waythamoorthy, who is in self-imposed exile in London, has has also been increasingly critical of PR.

In a statement issued from London last week, he labelled the Hindraf trio's release as a “blatantly obvious move to divert the attention of the public” from the Perak fiasco. He added that there was nothing Hindraf should be thankful for.

“We are not thankful for the release of our lawyers under the ISA unless the government fulfills the 18 point demands that were submitted to the government in 2007.”

He also wants the government to acknowledge the alleged poor treatment received by the Indian community in this country and release not just the Hindraf trio, but all ISA detainees and abolish the law.

His brother, P. Uthayakumar, who was released yesterday along with T. Vasanthakumar and Manoharan told The Malaysian Insider he was "not happy with the two parties (PKR and DAP) and what they have done for the Indian community.

“They did not do enough in the critical areas that really matter," said the outspoken leader, adding that if PR had done more with the states under their governance, especially regarding land issues, it would solve 70 per cent of the Indian community's problems.

However, Manoharan, who won his state seat from within the walls of Kamunting under the DAP banner, is clearly taking a different stance.

He says he will speak to Waythamoorty to explain to him that PR had indeed done all they could.

In particular, he noted the help and support of DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh, Secretary General Lim Guan Eng and Parliamentary Leader Lim Kit Siang.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hindraf trio released from ISA - Star

May 9, 2009 By CHAN LI LEEN

KAMUNTING: Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees M. Manoharan, K. Vasantha Kumar and P. Uthayakumar have been released from the Kamunting detention camp.

Manoharan and Vasantha Kumar, leaders from the banned Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) left the camp at 2.30pm in umarked cars.

Twenty minutes later, Uthayakumar left the camp.

M. Manoharan (left) and K. Vasantha Kumar (right) have been released from the Kamunting detention camp at 2.30pm Saturday.

Earlier, several ISA detainees were also believed to have been released from the Kamunting detention camp.

The first batch were seen leaving in an Immigration Department van at about 12.40pm on Saturday while more left in an unmarked van which was accompanied by four cars about 40 minutes later.

Meanwhile, IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan confirmed that all 13 ISA detainees slated to be released were being freed Saturday.

The five local ISA detainees were being released with conditions. If they flouted any condition, they would be hauled back in, he said.

The eight foreigners have been handed to the Immigration Department for deportation to their respective countries.

It is learnt that five of them are alleged Abu Sayaff members while the other three are suspected Darul Islamiah members.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had announced on Friday that 13 ISA detainees would be released soon.

On Saturday, several family members of two Hindraf leaders were also present at the camp.

Among them were K. Vasantha Kumar’s mother, R. Manomani 62 and his sister K. Parameswari, 37 and P. Uthayakumar’s fiancee S. Indradevi.

“I am very relieved and very happy. I have a flu but I had to come and see my son,” said a tearful Manomani.

Press members, meanwhile, started gathering outside the camp as early as 8am.

Only Perak sultan can provide the cure - Malaysiakini

Tunku Abdul Aziz | May 9, 09 3:19pm

I never for a moment thought I should live to see the day when a traditional hereditary ruler of a Malay state has taken such a rapid slide in his people’s estimation, approbation and adulation as has Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak.

It took one unfortunate, ill-conceived and ill-considered decision over a petition by the Pakatan Rakyat Mentri Besar Datuk Nizar Jamaluddin, to dissolve the Perak state assembly that has transformed Perak into a politically difficult and dangerous situation.

His Highness Sultan Azlan Shah is no ordinary ruler.

As a former Lord President and head of the Malaysian judiciary, he ascended the throne of Perak as someone well-qualified by education and training for what, for all practical purposes, is a largely ceremonial sinecure.

Be that as it may, the position carries a heavy constitutional responsibility.

It has become quite apparent that while his legal knowledge may be assumed to be extensive, his training more than adequate, his wisdom in dealing with a delicate and important political matter of public concern, on reflection, has in my humble opinion, turned out to be questionable.

A great deficiency in a ruler who showed so much early promise of being a wise, liberal-minded and benevolent leader.

When the final chapter of the Perak constitutional fiasco comes to be written, the country, and the world, will be able to revisit and understand better the magnitude of the debilitating effects of the royal decision on the Malaysian body politic.

A Greek tragedy pales by comparison

Malaysians, in particular, will view with horror the ugly scars left on their nation’s nascent democracy, and they will be constantly reminded how one hasty error of judgement was enough to trigger a political tragedy of the worst imaginable kind. A Greek tragedy pales by comparison.

The saddest part of all is that the resultant unseemly legal wrangling could have been avoided.

The fact that the flawed decision was not reversed, within a day or two when it became abundantly clear that the decision not to dissolve the assembly and call for fresh elections was manifestly unfair and unethical, was nothing if not sheer carelessness, in all the circumstances.

I maintain that even now it is not too late to reverse that politically fatal decision and bring to an end this disgraceful episode in the history of participatory representative government in our country.

There is no disgrace or humiliation in coming to terms with one’s honest mistake. No one, even the wisest among us, is infallible.

If the sultan believes, as we know he does passionately, that his royal duty is to serve the public interest, then NOW is the time to give that commitment practical effect.

The Perak fiasco is not about to run out of steam. We must accept that the situation will get worse before it gets better. I saw the images from the state assembly “sitting” on national television at lunch time today (May 7, 2009) with a sense of unbounded revulsion. The scene of warring politicians shouting invective was not a joy to behold.

The Perak affair is like a running sore

To use a medical analogy, the Perak affair will be a running sore. Only the sultan of Perak can provide an effective cure.

najib announce new cabinet lineup 090409 06To ignore what is obviously an untenable constitutional position is an act of grave irresponsibility, and while the prime minister thinks it is a great idea for him to give the impression that he is above it all, I should like to remind him that he is not blameless, far from it.

It was his active act of muddying the Perak political waters that brought about this current crisis in the first place.

He now has a chance to show that he is not a partisan prime minister, but a national statesman who is prepared to intervene decisively to put matters right in fairness and equity.

Looking back, it was not such a clever personal coup after all. His machination was so abysmally repugnant even judged by the consistently low ethical and moral political standards of Umno/BN that I find myself wondering whether I could trust him enough to buy my next second-hand car from him; this is the same man trying to persuade us to buy his 1Malaysia. What a man! (With apologies to GB Shaw)

Tunku Abdul Aziz, former head of Transparency International Malaysia, is vice-chairperson of DAP

Friday, May 8, 2009

Padungan Assemblyman, Wife And Eight PKR Members Detained - Bernama

KUCHING, May 7 (Bernama) -- Padungan assemblyman Dominique Ng, his wife and eight Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) members were detained tonight for holding an illegal gathering at the Kuching waterfront here.

Dressed in all black, they were believed to have assembled there to protest the arrest of Bersih activisit Wong Chin Huiat under the Sedition Act on Tuesday and what happened at the Perak State Assembly sitting today.

Kuching police chief ACP Wong Wai Loong told Bernama when contacted tonight that they were detained for refusing to heed police advice to disperse.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nizar: Assembly 'illegal and unconstitutional' - Malaysiakini

Kuek Ser Kuang Keng & Andrew Ong | May 7, 09 6:38pm

Pakatan Rakyat is maintaining that the Perak state assembly did not convene today and Barisan Nasional's actions in the state assembly hall were "illegal and unconstitutional".

This was despite Pakatan participating in the assembly ‘proceedings' which saw the Perak Regent Raja Nazrin Shah reading the royal address before the sitting was adjourned.

Speaking to reporters after BN-appointed speaker R Ganesan adjourned the sitting, Nizar slammed the police and BN ‘samseng' (thugs) for interfering with the proceedings.

He also lashed out at the BN and its cohorts for forcefully removing speaker V Sivakumar and physically hurting Pakatan state representatives.

"Their actions were evil and violated the sanctity of the house," he said, while being flanked by his assemblypersons and speaker Sivakumar.

Bar says today was a bleak day for democracy - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — The Bar Council condemned the police interference and what it says was “unwarranted action” in putting down protests and removing V. Sivakumar from the Speaker’s chair in the Perak state assembly today.

Ragunath Kesavan, the Bar Council president, said in a statement today that that the police acted in an unjustifiable and unacceptable manner when they physically removed Sivakumar from the assembly.

The Perak state assembly sitting was thrown into a state of chaos with shoving and shouting matches between Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Barisan Nasional lawmakers.

In a controversial move, BN lawmakers attended a sitting in one corner of the assembly which was presided over by deputy speaker Hee Yit Foong, and voted to remove Sivakumar as Speaker of the assembly.

The move will most certainly be questioned as the sitting had at that point not been declared open yet by Raja Nazrin Shah.

BN assemblymen subsequently had R Ganesan declared the new speaker. Plainclothes policemen then came into the assembly and forcibly removed Sivakumar from the speaker’s chair.

Aside from what happened in the assembly, Ragunath was also scathing in his comments about the dozens of arrests made outside the assembly, and for blocking invited guests from entering the state secretariat building.

“It is obvious that the conflicts that are currently being played out arise from the lack of clarity and certainty about which political coalition commands the majority in the Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak.

“Issues as to whether certain assemblymen should be permitted to attend the sitting, who the Speaker should be, the seating arrangements within the Dewan itself, all these and more are mere side-issues. Even when all is said and done, and the court decisions have been made, they may not reflect the will of the people.

“As such, the only solution must be to go back to the people.”