Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The words ‘Altantuya Shaariibuu’ should not be an offence — Malaysian Insider

By Leslie Lau

MARCH 31 — By banning any mention of murdered Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu from the Bukit Gantang campaign trail, the police has reached a ridiculous new low.

The police are supposed to be responsible for public order and security.

It should not be legislating what words can or cannot be used on the stump.

What is next?

Will the police decide that the names of certain candidates cannot be mentioned? Or will the police decide what language can be used during rallies?

If local police police officers think they are doing Datuk Seri Najib Razak a favour by imposing the Altantuya ban, then are sorely mistaken.

The repeated linking by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) of Najib to Altantuya’s murder is arguably done in bad taste.

The accusations hurled at Najib have also not been backed by evidence.

But in banning the mere mention of her name will certainly fuel the rumours and speculation surrounding the murder.

There is no need for the police to ban the mention of Altantuya.

If any crime is committed by any politician then the police can initiate prosecution.

And if any body decides to make unsubstantiated accusations then he or she is subject to legal action in the law of defamation.

The police are not doing anyone any favours with such a ban.

What the police needs to do is to ensure political rallies do not get out of hand.

The job of the police is to ensure the safety of the public and to arrest anyone who commits an offence.

Mentioning the words “Altantuya Shaariibuu” is not a criminal offence.

You can’t mention ... that woman, PKR told - Malaysian Insider

TAIPING, March 31 – Campaigning for the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections has run into a bizarre roadblock, with the police stepping in to dictate what PKR cannot say or do in the intense battle to win votes.

They must not mention Altan … err, a certain Mongolian model, now deceased.

The ban on bringing up Altantuya case and Perak Sultan decision in campaigning was issued by the Home Ministry and covers all 3 by-elections, Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said today.

A PKR source said that was one of the conditions police imposed on the party when it applied for ceramah permits.
A certain Ruler’s decision, matters of race and religion and other “sensitive” issues are also forbidden.

In addition, PKR must also ensure that the crowd at its ceramah is confined to a specific area where the event is being held.

Perak PKR deputy chief Chan Lih Kang told a press conference that the party would not appeal against the restrictions but would defy them and face the consequences.

“They cannot stop us from exercising our freedom of expression,” he said.

The same restrictions do not apply, apparently, to Pas, who have only been told to stop their ceramah by 11pm.

The murder of Altan … err, she-who-cannot-be-named, has proven to be acutely embarrassing for Umno’s new president and prime minister-in-waiting Datuk Seri Najib Razak, whose aide was acquitted of murder.

Najib has repeatedly denied ever meeting the woman.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Perubahan Umno 'tiada kesan' di Bkt Gantang - Malaysiakini

Ali Bukhari Amir | Mar 29, 09 2:17pm

Perubahan kepemimpinan dalam Umno kepada Datuk Seri Najib Razak dan timbalannya Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin tidak akan memberi kesan kepada pengundi parlimen Bukit Gantang, kata dua pengamat politik.

Pensyarah sains politik Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Dr Ahmad Nidzammuddin Sulaiman berkata peralihan kuasa itu - dan juga pertemuan mengejut mantan perdana menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dengan penggantinya Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi - semalam hanya meredakan pergolakan dalaman parti itu.

Beliau, yang turut meninjau perkembangan di kawasan parlimen itu hari ini, berkata masyarakat dan pengundi belum tentu mengubah tanggapan mereka sebelum ini terhadap kerajaan.

"Sengketa Dr Mahathir-Abdullah itu adalah pergolakan dalaman parti, sedangkan pilihan raya kecil membabitkan parti-parti politik yang berbeza pendirian.

"Jadi, saya tidak fikir perdamaian itu akan mempengaruhi keputusan pengundi," katanya kepada Malaysiakini.

Seorang lagi pensyarah sains politik UKM, Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff juga mempunyai pendapat yang sama - perubahan Umno itu tidak akan memberikan kesan kepada pengundi Melayu di kerusi tersebut.

"Ia tidak memberi kesan segera kepada para pengundi Melayu dan pengundi muda. Jadi, saya tidak dapat memberikan komen berhubung hal itu.

"Yang penting, biarlah pilihanraya kecil itu berlangsung terlebih dahulu dan barulah kita tahu apa kesan selanjutnya," katanya, sambil menegaskan bahawa dalam politik, tiada musuh yang kekal.

Perdamaian Abdullah-Dr Mahathir itu yang disifatkan langkah positif kepada Umno, tambah Dr Mohammad Agus, ahli-ahli Umno bermungkinan lebih bersemangat mendepani pilihanraya itu.

"Tapi, bukankah semua itu hanya sekadar sentimen," kata beliau. "Ia bukan ukuran yang tepat (untuk menunjukkan Umno akan menang)."

Pilihanraya kecil Bukit Gantang yang bermula hari ini menyaksikan persaingan sengit calon PAS Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin dengan calon BN Ismail Safian yang dianggap "referendum" terhadap Najib dan menteri besar Pakatan Rakyat itu.

Ia dimeriahkan lagi dengan kehadiran calon bebas Kamarul Ramizu Idris.

Sementara itu, mengulas pilihanraya kecil Bukit Selambau, Dr Ahmad Nidzamuddin berkata kemenangan presiden MIC Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu bagi penggal tidak memberikan kesan kerana pengundi Melayu memainkan peranan penentu di kerusi DUN itu.

"Pelantikan (kembali) Samy Vellu tidak memberi apa-apa kesan ke atas pilihanraya di sana kerana di situ ramai pengundi Melayu.

"Pengundi Melayu yang akan menentukan keputusannya nanti," katanya.

Calon MIc Datuk S Ganesan menggalas cabaran BN bagi berdepan dengan muka baru PKR S Manikumar bersama 13 calon bebas - menjadikan pilihanraya kecil ini merekodkan sejarah paling ramai di Malaysia.

Malaysia PM character put at heart of by-election - Malaysian Insider

Supporters of Nizar Jamaluddin wear masks of their hero on nomination day. - Reuters pic

TAIPING, March 29 — Malaysia’s opposition put questions over the alleged involvement of the country’s incoming prime minister in the murder of a Mongolian model at the heart of a tense by-election campaign which started on Sunday.

Nominations for the parliamentary seat in the tin-mining northwestern state of Perak pit the country’s Islamic opposition against the National Front coalition and has been cast a referendum on Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak who will become premier next week.

Over ten thousand opposition supporters gathered amid a heavy police presence to support their candidate, singing songs in Malay linking Najib with the murdered model, Altantuya Shaariibuu, to the tune of “When the Saints Go Marching In”.

Some carried a four foot long model submarine, an allusion to what they say are crooked defence contracts signed by Najib.

Najib on Saturday denounced the allegations for which no direct evidence has been produced as “malicious” lies, but they have dogged his ascent to power as he readies to take the top job next week amid a deepening economic crisis and rising tensions.

Last week, opposition websites were denied accreditation to the annual meeting of Umno at which Najib was elected president. An opposition MP has been charged with sedition and opposition newspapers banned.

“What we are worried about is that the transition of the national leadership will see an increase in this undemocratic attitude,” said Abdul Hadi Awang, president of Pas.

Pas is part of the three-party opposition People’s Alliance bloc led by former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

While the April 7 by-election will not change the national balance of power it is significant as the opposition candidate is the former state minister whose administration was ousted by Najib in a putsch last month that has stoked tensions.

The vote in Perak, the state elections in Kedah and in Sarawak on the island of Borneo are seen as a referendum on Najib’s leadership the National Front coalition that has ruled this Southeast Asian nation for 51 years.

“A strong win by the People’s Alliance in Bukit Gantang will be read as an indictment on Najib’s wresting control of Perak,” said political analyst Ong Kian Ming.

The National Front is pinning its hopes for victory on a newly found sense of unity under the leadership of Najib, a 55-year old British-educated economist.

Dogged by corruption and simmering ethnic tensions, the Front stumbled to its worst ever result in national and state elections a year ago, losing over a third of parliamentary seats.

That loss hastened the exit of lacklustre Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his replacement by Najib who has been in parliament for over 30 years and is the son of Malaysia’s second prime minister and the nephew of its third.

“There will be a change of leadership in the party and government and so we want to tell people that this is a team that means business”, Muhyiddin Yassin, Umno’s newly minted deputy president said today.

Traditionally new Malaysian prime ministers enter office with a huge bounce in support, although Najib’s approval rating of 51 percent in the most recent poll conducted by independent Merdeka Centre is less than that of Abdullah.

Najib has pledged to end corruption in the ruling party, rebuild the shattered 13-party ruling coalition that is split on ethnic lines and looks set to embark on a radical programme of economic reforms to try to improve Malaysia’s competitiveness during the global economic downturn.

His chances of doing so will depend on whether he can salvage something from the three votes, Ong, the political analyst said.

“Politically, the status quo remains if the National Front retains its seat in Sarawak and loses the other two,” he said. — Reuters

Fifteen, three, two candidates - Malaysian Insider

The large crowd of Pakatan Rakyat supporters at Bukit Gantang. - Pic by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 –The three by-elections in Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Batang Ai on April 7 will see contests by 15, three and two candidates respectively.

The biggest field of candidates is in Bukit Selambau where 15 aspiring candidates filed papers, including Barisan Nasional’s Datuk S. Ganesan and Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s S. Manikumar. When the objection period ended at 11am, all candidates were accepted when the nine objections filed were rejected.

In Bukit Gantang, ousted Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin is facing Barisan Nasional’s Ismail Safian and businessman Kamarul Ramizu Idris. There were three objections but all were rejected.

In Batang Ai, BN’s Malcolm Mussen Lamoh squares off in a straight fight with PKR’s Jawah Gerang. Two objections were filed but both were rejected.

In the unprecedented 15-way fight for Bukit Selambau, Ganesan faces the task of wresting the state seat from PKR which held it until V. Arumugam quit last month.

In addition to the two main players, the aspiring candidates are L. Sarala, T. Chandrarajan, R. Loganathan, Tan Hock Huat, Zaharan Abdullah, Major (R) Mohd Fadzli Wahab, Anuar Abdul Hamid, A. Jayagopal, Husaini Yaacob, Abdul Rahim Abu, S. Moganakumar, Venason Michael and Kamis Awang.

At all three venues, newly-minted and re-energised Umno leaders are heading the campaigns in the three by-elections in a face-off with large and vociferous opposition crowds.

Among the 15,000-odd BN supporters accompanying their candidate were Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, MIC president Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu and MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek.

The PKR supporters were led by the party's vice-president, Azmin Ali.

Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and vice-president Datuk Zahid Hamidi led the BN charge for the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat as they walked to the nomination centre with Ismail and Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.

Nizar's contingent included Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang and Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng.

The third Umno vice-president Datuk Shafie Apdal is in charge of the Batang Ai state seat campaign.

Bernama reported that the weather was fine at all the three nomination centres, at which the candidates’ supporters started arriving as early as 6.30am.

In Taiping, police closed up five roads leading to Taiping town – Jalan Sultan Mansur, Jalan Kota, Jalan Taming Sari, Jalan Temenggong and Jalan Berek – at 6am.

Meanwhile, in Lubok Antu, Sarawak, the 38km road leading to Lubok Antu from the junction with the Sri Aman-Miri trunk road was jammed since early morning as many vehicles carrying party supporters, election workers and dignitaries, headed there.

Bukit Gantang has 55,562 registered voters, including 136 voters, of whom 63.5 per cent are Malays, Chinese (27.1 per cent), Indians (9.1 per cent) and others.

Bukit Selambau has 35,140 voters (15 postal voters) with Malays making up 50.2 per cent, Indians (29.5 per cent), Chinese (19.3 per cent) and others (1 per cent).

In Batang Ai, there are 8,006 registered voters (43 postal voters)with the Ibans making up 95 per cent and the rest being Malays, Chinese and others.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dr M calls Umno Youth corrupt for electing Khairy - Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 - The expected backlash from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has arrived.

And the venom was aimed directly at Khairy Jamaluddin, the politician who defeated Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir on the way to becoming the Umno Youth chief.

Some of the vitriol was also sprayed on the youth wing and Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, both whom he accused of turning a blind eye to corruption in Umno.

Dr Mahathir's tirade is likely to widen the rift in Umno Youth following Khairy's victory on Wednesday and appeared designed to put pressure on Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to exclude Abdullah's son-in-law from the Cabinet.

If allowed to fester, this bad blood could have an impact on the three by-elections as well as force a confrontation between some Umno leaders and Dr Mahathir.

In a post on his blog, he said that he did not attend the opening of the Umno general assembly yesterday because Umno Youth openly sanctioned money politics by electing Khairy.

"They picked as their leader someone who was found guilty of using money and other inducements in his effort to get elected as the head of Umno Youth…Never before has a person who has been acknowledged as corrupt by the party disciplinary board, by the party and the public being elected and hailed as the leader.

"Pemuda has sullied the image of the party and the Malays. It appears that money is more important than one's race and country, '' said the former party president, who wondered whether the rest of Malaysia would accept a leader like Khairy.

Dr Mahathir also added an element of conspiracy into the youth elections, questioning why it took six hours to count 790 votes.

"Didn't they know how to count? Or was there an attempt to ensure victory for the son-in-law of the Prime Minister?

"The PM should not talk about rejecting corrupt leaders because his son-in-law who is corrupt has been given special treatment, '' said the former prime minister, who was unhappy that Khairy was let off with a warning by the disciplinary board while Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Ali Rustam was barred from contesting the deputy president's position for breaching party ethics.

Some of Dr Mahathir's comments are probably borne out of frustration of being unable to convince party delegates to end Khairy's political career in Umno.

In the run-up to the party elections, he attacked Khairy repeatedly and cautioned the 790 Umno Youth delegates against voting for him, labeling him as corrupt.

His campaign did not bear dividends and his son polled 230 votes to finish third behind Khairy and former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Khir Toyo.

This blog posting by Dr Mahathir is not likely to be the last word on this subject.

Hounding Abdullah and Khairy has become a preoccupation for the former prime minister; who has identified the both of them as the villains who undermined his legacy.

Press Statement On The Merciless Attack in Sungai Petani

March 24 2009

A phase of repression descended on Malaysia as Najib Razak seizes control of the reins of power, even before officially taking over as Prime Minister, and unleashes his brutality and violence on the people.

Last night, a rally of about 10,000 people from all races was mercilessly attacked by the police with tear gas and acid-laced water cannon minutes after I began my speech in Bukit Selambau. Scores of people were arrested including my chief of staff, MPs, and senior aides to the Chief Minister of Kedah.

To justify their iron hand tactics and blatant violation of the people’s fundamental liberties, the police have claimed that the rally was illegal. These are baseless claims as the event took place on private property and adhered to the rules.

Last night’s show of brute force is but the latest in a series of harsh and dictatorial action by the government under Najib against the people. Also yesterday Suara Keadilan and Harakah were banned by the Home Ministry without any justification. These events only too starkly remind us of the cruel and authoritarian style of leadership under which Malaysians suffered for many years. The police force has become a band of marauders. The press is muzzled and those who speak the truth about the abuses carried out by the ruling clique are arrested, beaten and bullied.

The institutions of governance serve the interests of an elite clique which will exceed all boundaries of the law to retain power. A return to that era would be a disaster for this country and people of conscience around the world should condemn these unscrupulous actions.

It is quite clear that despite his superficial offers for cooperation and bipartisanship, the olive branch which Najib Razak extended to the opposition early this month is really a dagger in disguise.

In two weeks Malaysians will once again return to the polls in three important by-elections. Once again all forms of trickery, cheating and bribery will be employed by the UMNO led BN government in order to defeat the opposition. But we are confident that Malaysians will register a referendum, much like they already have done in Kuala Terengganu and in Permatang Pauh, against the brutal and inhumane policies of the government. The movement for change and reform in Malaysia will push forward and will succeed.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Tear gas fired at Anwar ceramah, leaders holed up - Malaysian Insider

March 23, 2009 By Shannon Teoh

SUNGAI PETANI, March 23 — Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) forces fired tear gas and used water cannons tonight on thousands gathered at a ceramah in Bukit Selambau just as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was beginning his speech.

The FRU engaged the crowd at about 10pm and the opposition leader and other Pakatan Rakyat leaders are holed up in the building where the ceramah was being held as of 10.45pm.

At least six people have been arrested according to PKR’s Selangor executive councillor Dr Xavier Jeyakumar, including fellow party member Zamri Yusuf who is a Senator from Kedah and Anwar’s private secretary Ibrahim Yaakob.

“I am so angry that the FRU used water cannons and tear gas on 5,000 people gathered to hear DSAI speak,” he stated.

He also told The Malaysian Insider that there are rumours that the authorities want to detain the PKR de facto leader.

Other PKR sources have also told The Malaysian Insider of such rumours since last week when Anwar first hit the campaign trail for the three simultaneous by-elections in Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Batang Ai.

Zaid says he will return to active politics - Malaysian Insider

March 23, 2009 By Neville Spykerman

Not sure if Anwar gets it all. Kelantanese Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and menteri besar of his homestate Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat ae probably speaking in Kelantanese, leaving a smiling Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim guessing the joke.

PETALING JAYA, March 23 — Former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who was sacked from Umno, said today he would eventually join another political party.

But he declined to say which party he was considering.

Zaid said he was still in active politics and was close to leaders of all three Pakatan rakyat (PR) parties.

“I will make an announcement when the time comes but I am in no hurry.”

He said he would join a party in which he would be most effective.

Zaid was speaking after the launch his second book Saya Pun Melayu, which also saw the launch of Pas spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat’s book entitled Kemilau Peribadi, at the Tropicana Golf and Country Club here.

The former minister also said that Malaysia needed a leader to unite rather than divide now more than ever.

He said as a democracy, leaders should show some maturity and lead by example.

Zaid, who has been labelled a traitor by his former Umno colleagues for saying that the King had the discretion not to appoint Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the next prime minister, said his suggestion was just an idea.

Former Umno minister, now Umno's leading critic Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, speaks at the launch of his book, 'Saya pun Melayu' at the Tropicana Golf Club.
Speaking in reference to the current economic and political turmoil in the country, Zaid said he had nothing personal against Najib and admitted he was not a soothsayer.

“He (Najib) may be the (right) person (to lead the country) so prove me wrong.”

But he said Umno should be more tolerant of dissenting views.

“I am just an ordinary rakyat but they are so dismissive and this reflects on their leadership style. ”

Zaid compared the personal attacks against him to the divisive politics of the 60s where Pas and Umno members used to burnt flags and effigies of each other.

“It is like the people have progressed but the (Umno) leaders have not and I feel sorry for them.”

Zaid said he hopes his book will be read especially by the Malay community and

denied the launch date was set to coincide with the Umno General Assembly.

“It a coincidence, like many others things in this country.” he quipped.

Also at the event today, was Nik Aziz and opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Opposition hit out at Speaker for rejecting motion to cancel Gobind's suspension - Sun

KUALA LUMPUR (March 23, 2009):

DAP MPs have described Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia's decision to reject their emergency motion to "cancel or set aside" (DAP-Puchong) Gobind Singh's suspension and deprivation of allowance as "unreasonable" and "unacceptable".

Chong Chieng Jien (DAP-Bandar Kuching) said his motion was tabled on Thursday and today it was rejected in the Speaker's chamber and not in the House.

"The Speaker's reason for rejecting the motion in chamber was because the matter has been raised and the minister has given clarifications," he said in a press conference in Parliament lobby.

Chong said the issue of the House making an "unlawful decision" (Gobind’s suspension and allowance deprivation) was not raised.

"We tabled a motion to set aside the suspension with good intent to salvage or save this House from proceeding with an unlawful decision, which ultimately may become a great embarrassment to the House," he stressed.

M.Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) said the most important aspect of suspension which was missed out is there should have been a proper inquiry by the committee of privileges under Standing Order 18.

Standing Order states that "there shall be referred to the committee any matter which appears to affect the powers and privileges of the committee. It shall be the duty of the committee to consider any such matters."

Kulasegaran said the failure of the House to refer the matter to the committee was in itself a mistake and, worse, the whole motion was completed within one-and-a-half hours without giving many of the Opposition MPs a chance to debate.

"Today, after Bandar Kuching raised the matter, I told the Speaker 'the Malaysian Parliament is a laughing stock' and that people are asking why the accused was not given a chance to explain himself?"

Earlier in the Dewan, there was a heated exchange between DAP MPs Chong, Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) and Kulasegaran, and the Speaker when Chong said the reason for rejection was "unreasonable".

The Speaker refused to allow them to even speak about it, reiterating that the motion had been rejected in the chamber, therefore no further discussion was allowed.

Visibly unsatisfied, Fong said: "Can you by way of motion remove an MP's privileges just like that? He is not disqualified, if he is disqualified, you can remove all the privileges."

Gobind was suspended on March 16 without allowance and benefits for one year for alleging that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak was involved in the murder of

Home Ministry suspends PKR's and PAS’s newsletters - Star

March 23, 2009 By NURUL AIN HUSSEIN

KUALA LUMPUR: The Home Ministry has suspended PKR’s newsletter Suara Keadilan and PAS’s newsletter Harakah for three months, effective immediately, its minister Datuk Sri Syed Hamid Albar confirmed Monday.

"Its true we suspended the two newsletters from today. We do not wish to restrict press freedom in this country but they were still publishing untrue stories after they were given warnings," he said.

He said the two newsletters had run stories that questioned the position of the Rulers and a number of other stories that were sensational and likely to confuse people in a multi-racial country.

With the suspension, both newspapers can only again at the end of June, missing a number of key political events and developments including the three by-elections on April 7.

Meanwhile, Tian Chua, PKR's information chief, said that Suara Keadilan received notice of the suspension on Monday.

"However, no reason was stated," he said.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hishamuddin to show keris again - Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 - Outgoing Umno Youth chief Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein will tempt fate on Wednesday when he reprises the controversial keris act.

The main difference this time is that he will not unsheathe the keris or brandish it in a threatening fashion.

He will lift up a covered keris as part of the opening ceremony of the youth assembly.
By keeping the keris as part of the opening ceremony for the Umno Youth assembly he is taking into account the sentiment of party delegates who felt that Umno should not be cowed into doing away with its tradition just because non-Malays felt threatened by it.

The keris act became a major talking point in the run-up to Election 2008 with the Opposition using the imagery of Hishammuddin holding up the keris as a symbol of Umno's arrogance and insensitivity to non-Malays.

Non-Malays equate brandishing an unsheath keris as a show of power by the Malays.

After non-Malays voted with their feet and Barisan Nasional suffered significant losses in the general elections, Hishammuddin apologised for the keris act, saying he never meant to upset Chinese or Indians.

But his apology did not go down well with Umno members, who viewed it as a sign of weakness.

The cynics may argue that with him trailing Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Shafie Apdal and Datuk Khaled Nordin in the race for the three vice-president's slots, the keris act may be his last hope of proving his Malay credentials and persuading delegates that he is worthy of their support.

An Umno Youth official told the Malaysian Insider: "The keris is something dear to Umno. It has never been about threatening anyone."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rosmah ‘shocked’ by political smears - Sun

KUALA LUMPUR (March 15, 2009) : Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, says she is "shocked" by attacks from political opponents’ attempts to link her and her husband to a sensational murder.

Rosmah speaks as a guest in "Hello Malaysia" programme at Wisma Bernama in Kuala Lumpur today.

But the wife of the man who is expected to take over as prime minister after Umno elections this month dismissed suggestions the accusations could overshadow his premiership and said the experience had made them stronger.

"When I heard these unpleasant things it shocked me, I can’t imagine that somebody like that could exist on this earth and not feel guilty about making other people’s lives miserable," she told AFP in a recent interview.

"But as far as I’m concerned, I’m not affected by all this because I know they will do anything to stop my husband from being a (leader), and they chose the wrong way."

Last year, Najib denied having an affair with 28-year-old Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, who was murdered in 2006. Her remains were blown up with military-grade explosives in a jungle clearing.

The deputy premier’s close adviser, Abdul Razak Baginda, who admitted having a relationship with the woman, was charged with abetting the murder but was later acquitted without his defence being called.

Two policemen from the Police Special Action Unit -- an elite squad that guards VVIPs -- are accused of carrying out the grisly slaying and are currently on trial.

Rosmah, who was herself linked to the crime by a blogger who was slapped with sedition and defamation charges over the allegations, said the furore was part and parcel of political life.

"If they cannot get my husband, they get me, if they cannot get me they even go to the children ... they will resort to anything at all.

"But it doesn’t matter, it makes us much wiser, it makes us much stronger, closer as a family, and more mature.

"What’s important is your conscience, that when you wake up in the morning and you look in the mirror, are you able to look at yourself and love yourself, and ask yourself whether you’ve done the right thing."

Rosmah, who has a reputation for being formidable and outspoken, portrayed her relationship with her husband as close and affectionate.

In a country where news websites and blogs are a popular source of information, she is one of Malaysia’s most-discussed public personalities.

"Like it or not, when you are the wife of a prominent leader, you will be watched, talked about, assessed and analysed all the time. But they fail to realise I am also a human being," she said.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Norza pleads not guilty to two graft charges - Star

March 13, 2009

TEMERLOH: Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Mohamad Norza Zakaria pleaded not guilty in the Magistrate's Court Friday to two charges of giving bribes to two individuals in January.

Norza, 43, who is also Federal Territory Umno Youth chief, is alleged to have committed the offences on Jan 20, 2009 at 6.30pm at No. 38, Pinggiran Tasik, Taman Bandar Temerloh, here.

He was released on a RM10,000 bail in one surety.

He is charged with corruptly giving Khadri Musa RM1,500 through Halimi Kamaruzzaman to be distributed to party delegates as inducement to vote for him (Norza) in the contest for a party Supreme Council seat in the Umno elections in March.

Norza is also charged with corruptly giving RM1,900 to Mohammad Anuar Yunus through Halimi Kamaruzzaman for the same purpose.

The charges are under Section 16 (b)(A) of the Malaysian AntiCorruption Commission Act 2009 (Act 694) and punishable under Section 24 of the same Act. - Bernama

Teresa Kok files suit against Home Minister for unlawful arrest - Star

March 13, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Seputeh Member of Parliament Teresa Kok Suh Sim on Friday filed a suit against Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and three others claiming that she was wrongfully arrested and detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) last year.

She filed the suit through Messrs S.N. Nair & Partners at the High Court registry here at 8.40am.

Besides Syed Hamid, she also named Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan, DSP E Kim Tien and the Malaysian government as defendants.

In her statement of claim, Kok said that she was arrested by the defendants at the entrance to her residence at Pearl Tower, OG Heights at 11.15pm on Sept 12 last year and detained for two hours without being allowed to contact her closest relative or her lawyer.

She said that at 2am on Sept 13 at the Wangsa Maju police station she was informed by the three defendants that she was detained under section 73(1) of the ISA on the ground that she had taken part in activities that could cause tension and racial clashes.

Kok said she was then sent to a secret location where she was detained without trial until Sept 19. She claimed that her arrest and detention were done without basis.

She said Deputy Inspector-Geneal of Police, Datuk Ismail Omar, issued an official press statement on Sept 19, 2008, which was published in the media, saying that she was released unconditionally because "the police were satisfied that she was not a threat to public order and security".

Kok claimed that because of the negligence, arbitrariness and frivolity of the defendants in effecting her wrongul arrest and detention, she had been placed under severe mental stress, pain and suffering due to food poisoning and denial of her constitutional rights.

She is seeking damages for wrongful arrest and detention, pain and suffering and mental stress, general and special damages and other reliefs deemed fit by the court. - Bernama

Six charged for insulting Perak Sultan on the web - Star

March 13, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: In the first conviction of its kind, lab assistant Azrin Md Zain, 33, was fined RM10,000 or, in default, five months jail, at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court for posting comments insulting the Sultan of Perak on the Internet on Feb 12.

He became the first ever person to be convicted under the Multimedia and Communications Act 1998.

Meanwhile, a number of other people were charged in courts nationwide for similar offences.

In the Butterworth Sessions Court, Chan Hon Keong, 27, pleaded not guilty while Khoo Hui Shuang was absent and was summoned for mention of the case on April 15.

The two were accused of posting and distributing comments containing obscenities and offensive comments on a website linked to the Sultan of Perak’s website.

At the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court, self-employed Muslim Ahmad, 54, claimed trial to three counts of posting offensive remarks against the Sultan in February.

At the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court, Nor Hisham Osman, 36, claimed trial to defaming the Sultan of Perak.

Judge Balqis Ainin Mohd fixed bail at RM4,000 with one surety and fixed next hearing on Apr 14.

Meanwhile, in Kota Kinabalu, Bernama reported that a mobile phone salesman pleaded not guilty to spreading a comment which insulted the Sultan of Perak through a website.

Rutinin Suhaimin, 36, was charged with committing the offence on Feb 13 and linking the offensive remarks to the website http://books.dreambooks.com/duliduli.html with link to a website on the Sultan Perak, www.sultanperak.gov.my.

If found guilty, Rutinin can be jailed for up to a year or fined up to RM50,000, or both.

Sessions Court judge Ummu Kalthom Abdul Samad fixed May 25 and 26 for trial and allowed bail of RM10,000 with a deposit RM5,000 and two sureties.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Six to be charged for defacing Sultan’s website - Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 — Six people will be charged tomorrow for defacing the Perak Sultan’s website in a move which is aimed at quelling the avalanche of criticisms against the royalty.

The move is likely to put some fear into Malaysia’s burgeoning Internet community.

The six persons to be prosecuted will be the first people to be charged under Section 233 of the Multimedia and Communications Act 1998.

Under the section it is an offence to make unwise use of network or network services by making comments, demands, suggestions or communication deemed vulgar, false, threatening or disturbing.

The six face a maximum fine of RM50,000 or a jail term of of one year or both.

Immediately after Sultan Azlan Shah denied Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin’s request to dissolve the Perak legislature in February and instead appointed Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as menteri besar, the ruler’s website came under attack.

Sultan Azlan Shah’s website was “flamed” with personal attacks with all sorts of accusations made against the ruler.

But the attacks against the Sultan was not confined to his website.

In various blogs and websites, he has come under intense criticism from writers and readers alike.

The attacks against Sultan Azlan Shah sparked off controversy with Umno championing the royalty and accusing those who attacked the monarchy of being disloyal.

Even Nizar was accused of treason for refusing to resign as menteri besar and continuing his fight in court to regain his position.

DAP leader Karpal Singh had also come in for criticisms for suggesting that the Sultan could be sued.

But under the guise of anonymity, many Malaysians have resorted to posting strong comments against the royal families.

Umno politicians have also fanned the flames by suggesting that any disrespect against the royal households was akin to questioning Malay rights.

Azalina: I have nothing to hide - Star

March 12, 2009

PETALING JAYA: Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has nothing to hide and will cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over allegations of money politics.

However, Azalina said the MACC had yet to call or see her despite taking several documents from her office on Wednesday.

Azalina also said she did not know anything about the RM70,000, which was found in a political secretary’s car after a gathering that she had attended with some Umno members last week.

“I have nothing to hide. I will cooperate with the MACC. I trust they will carry out their investigation in a professional manner without prejudice,” she said on here on Thursday.

She also clarified that her office was not raided by the MACC on Wednesday nor were the documents seized.

“The documents were handed over (to the MACC officers),” she said.

Azalina, who was not in her office when the MACC officers came, said she did not know what documents were taken or how many ministry officers were interviewed.

Meanwhile, Bernama quoted Azalina as saying that she did not know the purpose of MACC’s investigation on her Ministry.

“I am not so sure what are they looking for and the purpose of their investigations. But I am confident a person is innocent until proven otherwise,” she said

Six to be charged for insulting Perak Sultan via blogs, postings - Star

March 12, 3009 By LOURDES CHARLES

KUALA LUMPUR: Six people, who allegedly insulted the Sultan of Perak via their blogs or online postings, are expected to be charged on Friday under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

They are expected to be charged in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Kota Kinabalu, and Butterworth under Section 233(1) of the Act for unwise use of network or network services by making comments, demands, suggestions or communication deemed vulgar, false, threatening or disturbing. The charges are to be read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code.

The six will thus become the first to be hauled up under the Act.

Two others are also expected to face similar charges in Terengganu on Sunday.

Those found guilty under the Act face a maximum fine of RM50,000 or a maximum jail term of one year or both as provided for under Section 233(3) of the Act.

Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail confirmed his officers are expected to charge several people on Friday but declined to elaborate on the facts of the case.

It is learnt that several senior Information, Communication and Technology executives working with the Perak State Secretary lodged a report with Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) on Feb 16 after reading the offending posting and comments in several of the blogs that is said to be linked to the Sultan of Perak’s web site.

Several of the offending comments were also posted and sent to the Perak state government website.

The MCMC acting on their complaint started a round the clock probe and after about a month of tedious investigations applied and obtained several search warrants from the courts to further investigate the matter.

They (MCMC) officers armed with the search warrants raided several premises and shop lots throughout the country including houses and shops in Taman Tun Dr Ismail in Brickfields, Kajang, Sri Kembangan, Permatang Pauh, Ranau in Sabah and several other places where the culprits were alleged to have operated from.

The sources said the raiding team seized lap tops, modems, personal computers and even telephone bills as evidence that is said to belong to the suspects and would produce them as evidence.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

MACC officers take documents from Azalina's office - Star

March 11, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Two Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers spent an hour at the Tourism Minister’s office and took away two documents, as part of their investigations into money politics in the Umno elections.

They also interviewed two senior officials from Datuk Azalina Othman Said’s office.

According to sources, the MACC officers arrived at the ministry around 10am on Wednesday, and after interviewing the two officials, asked to see certain documents.

They then asked if they could take away the documents and the two officials readily agreed.

“There was no seizure of any sort,” said another senior official from Azalina’s office.

The minister was not in at the time of the “visit” by the MACC.

It is learnt that the MACC is investigating a gathering she had attended with some Umno members at the Saloma Bistro in Jalan Ampang here last week.

It was also after this same gathering that a political secretary of a minister was detained by the MACC after RM70,000 was found in his car. The 44-year-old man was released after six hours of questioning.

Azalina’s officials denied that Wednesday’s visit by the MACC had anything to do with the RM70,000 incident.

In a statement, the minister’s office said it would give its fullest co-operation to the MACC on the matter.

“We have the fullest confidence in the MACC and are equally confident that we will be cleared by their investigations,” the statement added.

Party insiders said there was a complaint lodged with the MACC over the gathering as some of those present were Umno delegates.

“Under party election rules, such a gathering must be a sanctioned one organised by the state liaison committee.

“Therefore, unorganised gatherings are viewed with suspicion and the MACC has been asked to determined if there was money politics involved at this gathering,” the insider said. The MACC declined to comment on this investigation.

IGP, A-G cleared of wrongdoing in Anwar's 'black-eye' case - Sun

By Giam Say Khoon and Tim Leonard

KUALA LUMPUR (March 11, 2009) : Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail have been cleared of any wrongdoings in Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s "black-eyed" incident in 1998.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz said the two were cleared after the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) completed its two-month-long investigation.

He said this in answer to Gobind Singh Deo (DAP-Puchong), who enquired on the status of the incident during the question and answer session in Parliament today.

"This was a sensitive and high profile case and the MACC had proposed a three-man panel as deputy public prosecutors (comprising former Federal Court judges Datuk Abdul Kadir Sulaiman, Datuk Wira Mohd Noor Ahmad and Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah) to look into the case," he said.

Last year, Anwar had lodged a report against Abdul Gani and Musa alleging that they tampered the evidence of him being beaten while in police custody in 1998.

When asked by Gobind when the investigation was completed, Nazri said the investigation started on July 2 and it took two months to complete the probe.

"It took us some time to make the announcement because we want to make sure the decision will not create any doubt for any party," Nazri added.

Nazri also disclosed that the three panelists had agreed to clear Musa and only one of them was against Abdul Gani when he was asked by Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) on the result of the investigation.

In an immediate response at Parliament lobby, Anwar said he was "disgusted" over the outcome and that he would write personally to each member of the special panel that looked into his case to ensure that they had received all the evidence he had adduced.

"I will write to each of them and submit my evidence," Anwar said.

"We submitted clear evidence…it is so unfortunate that a case like this with all the real evidence can be turned down. Anyway, we don’t know what is the actual evidence which reached the panel; so I will submit the evidence to each of the panel members.

"I will wait for their reaction first before deciding on the next action."

On another note, Anwar dismissed speculation of an agenda behind his meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi over lunch at a religious school in Hulu Langat on Tuesday.

"We talked about our families," he said, when asked what was discussed during lunch. He declined to say more.

Anwar was invited by prominent Ustaz Sheikh Mahmud Al-Mazjub to the religious school in Hulu Langat. After prayers, Abdullah, Sheikh Mahmud and Anwar had lunch together.

When asked whether if the lunch meeting was a co-incidence or pre-arranged, Anwar said they were informed.

Pak Lah-Anwar in surprise meeting - Star

March 11, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had an unexpected meeting at a religious school in Hulu Langat, near here, yesterday.

Picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

News websites and political portals reported that both of them had been invited by well-known Ustaz, Sheikh Mahmud Al-Mazjub to celebrate Maulidur Rasul at his Madrasah Nurul Iman, Hulu Langat, Selangor.

The portals said there were over 1,000 people at the function who were surprised at the visit of the two men.

Abdullah is said to have arrived about 20 minutes before Anwar and PKR president-wife Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Ismail.

Pictures on the portals showed that Abdullah and Anwar also had lunch with Sheikh Mahmud. The three of them also performed zohor prayers at the school.

Their unexpected meeting raised eyebrows and led to all sorts of speculation on the Internet.

However, Anwar said in his blog that there had been too many assumptions and interpretations over their presence at the function.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

PPSMI - Language march: Tear gas fired - Malaysiakini

Mar 7, 09 3:05pm

Police came down hard on some 8,000 people taking part in a protest march from Masjid Negara to Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.

They cordoned off the road leading to the palace, firing rounds of tear gas at the crowd as they approached the palace.

The march was organised by the coalition against the teaching of science and maths in English (GMP).

GMP, known in its Malay name as Gerakan Mansuhkan PPSMI, is a coalition of 14 NGOs. Some of its pro-tem committee members include opposition politicians.

Two GMP leaders - national laureate A Samad Said and former Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka director Hassan Ahmad - managed to get past police cordon to hand the coalition’s memorandum to the king.

“The police were very cooperative in allowing us to hand our memorandum to a palace official,” Hassan told reporters.

Samad (middle in photo), who is 76 years old, also marched from Masjid Negara to the palace.

He was seen choking from the tear gas and had to be aided by several individuals towards the palace.

“This is what we have to go through in order to save our language,” Samad told reporters.

The memorandum states that the people are seeking royal intervention on the controversial policy, which is said to be implemented at the expense of mother tongue education.

Protesters, however, were treated less cordially by the police.

Protesters in '152' T-shirts

The march started at the Masjid Negara at 2pm sharp after zohor prayers and protesters overpowered a dozen riot police who tried to seal off the entrance of the mosque.

Many protesters were donning T-shirts with the words 152, in reference to Article 152 of the Federal Constitution which states that Bahasa Melayu is the national language.

The crowd chanted “Save mother language” and “Abolish PPSMI”.

At 2.40pm, the first round of tear gas was fired from the inter-section between Jalan Syed Putra and Jalan Mahameru, a stone’s throw away from the palace which was guarded by a dozen of riot police and two water cannons.

A handful of protesters reacted by charging at the riot police who fired the projectiles.

Eyewitness reports of at least one riot policeman being injured while his shield was smashed to bits.

This was followed by several dozen volleys of tear gas fired on the protesters scattered throughout the vicinity. Motorist trapped in the traffic gridlock were seen choking in their vehicles.

At 3.15pm, several hundred protesters retreated to the National Mosque where more tear gas were fired. Chemical-laced water cannons were also used.

Several arrests were made though the actual number cannot be ascertained at time of writing.

There are reports that as many as 124 people were detained.

Despite failing to gather near the palace, PKR supreme council member Badrul Hisham Shaharin, who was among the protesters, said that GMP had achieved its objective today.

“We have done everything to show that the public rejects this policy (to teach science and maths in English), but the leders pretend to be deaf.

“So this rally is a show of force that the people will not keep silent about this issue,” Badrul Hisham told Malaysiakini.

IGP: We had to disperse crowd

The teaching of Science and Maths in English was controversially implemented in 2003 by then Prime Minsiter Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Many linguist and teachers have complained that the new policy was flawed and was especially detrimental to rural students who have limited grasp of English.

Meanwhile, he Star quoted Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan as saying in a report today that during police discussions with GMP, it was decided there would not be any rally.

“They agreed to send representatives into the Istana after zohor prayers but when political parties like PAS and PKR got involved, it became an illegal gathering and demonstration.

“We have no choice but to use tear gas to disperse the crowd who refused to listen to police warnings,” he said.

- Reporting by Andrew Ong, Jimadie Shah Othman, Abdul Rahim Sabri and Lee Way Loon.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pidato Nasional - National Address - March 8, 2009

Pada 8 Mac 2009, Anwar Ibrahim akan menyampaikan Pidato Kebangsaan sempena meraikan sambutan setahun kejayaan Pakatan Rakyat dalam Pilihan Raya Umum ke-12 tahun lalu.

Pidato beliau akan menumpu pada isu-isu ke arah membina penyatuan rakyat Malaysia. Beliau juga dijangka akan mengumumkan pendekatan yang perlu diambil oleh pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat dalam menghadapi cabaran kemelesetan ekonomi serta perancangan mewujudkan lebih banyak peluang pekerjaan dan usaha meningkatkan mutu pendidikan negara.


On March 8th 2009 Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim will deliver a National Address on the one year anniversary of the 12th General Elections in which the Pakatan Rakyat achieved unprecedented gains.

His speech will call for unity among the Malaysian people and declare a firm resolve on the part of the Pakatan Rakyat to work hard to face the challenges of the economic recession, create new jobs for Malaysians and improve access to quality education. He will also highlight the many successes achieved by Pakatan Rakyat governments in the five states to reduce corruption, increase investment and create jobs during a period when thousands of Malaysians have been left unemployed.

The speech, which will take place at the Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam Auditorium, will be broadcast live on TV Antara. It is the first National Address since the March 2008 elections.

Sunday March 8th, 2009
4:30 PM (GMT + 8)
Wisma MBSA, Shah Alam, Selangor

Nizar-Zambry battle for Perak MB post goes to Federal court - Sun

By Tan Yi Liang

KUALA LUMPUR (March 6, 2009) : The High Court ruled today that the constitutional issue in the dispute between Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin and Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir over the latter's appointment as Perak Mentri Besar is to be referred to the Federal Court.

Justice Lau Bee Lan made the decision after hearing submissions from Senior Federal Counsel Datuk Kamaludin Mat Said and Nizar's lead counsel Sulaiman Abdullah on Monday, saying that it was to bring about "speedy and economical determination" to the legal dispute.

She said there are constitutional issues involving the interpretation of Article 16 (6) of the Perak Constitution which required the apex court to resolve.

Lau then directed Sulaiman and Kamaludin to formulate constitutional questions to be referred to the Federal Court. She also stayed the judicial review in her court.

Lau said she agreed with Kamaludin's argument on Monday that the court must give a wide meaning to the interpretation of "constitution" under Section 84 of the Courts of Judicature Act. Kamaluddin had argued that Section 84 was applicable to this case as it covered issues arising from both the Federal Constitution and the State Constitution.

Sulaiman, in his submission on Tuesday, however disagreed, contending that the High Court should first deal with and grant Nizar's application for leave to file for judicial r eview before considering the issue of referral to the Federal Court.

He argued that Section 84 only applied to cases in which issues arose from the Federal Constitution and not the State Constitution and that it was not applicable to Nizar's suit as the issues in dispute related to the Perak Constitution.

Sulaiman applied for stay of Lau's order pending appeal to the Court of Appeal as the ruling involved interpretation of the Act which might have repercussions on other cases.

Lau dismissed the application, and fixed Tuesday to determine whether questions formulated for the Federal Court's determination can be pronounced in an open court.

Mohammad Nizar took up the case after he was asked to step down as menteri besar by the Sultan of Perak who then appointed Zambry to replace him after declaring that Barisan Nasional had the majority in the state assembly.

BN seized power after three opposition assemblymen quit their parties to become 'BN-friendly independents' and another returned to Umno just days after joining Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). This left the two sides with 28 assemblymen each in the 59-seat assembly.

Mohammad Nizar then went to court, seeking a declaration that he is the righful Perak MB and an injunction to bar Zambry from discharging his duties as the MB.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Final moments of Altantuya raised in Parliament - Malaysian Insider

By Neville Spykerman

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — Eyebrows were raised in Parliament today when allegations by the French Liberation newspaper about the final moments of Altantuya Shaariibuu before she was brutally killed in 2006 surfaced in the House.

Machang MP Saifuddin Nasution, who was referring to the news report which was allegedly from a source in the Malaysian police, read out an excerpt of how Altantuya had begged for her life and stated that she was pregnant, before she was shot.

However Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, who was wrapping up the debate on the motion of thanks to the Royal Address, said the allegations had nothing to do with his ministry.

“Any information can be leaked but these allegations are mere speculation.” he said.

However Saifuddin said the French newspaper is widely read in Europe and had tarnished the image of the country.

However deputy speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee refused to allow Saifuddin to continue as the matter was still pending in court.

Altantuya allegations flare up again for Najib - Malaysian Insider

By Leslie Lau Consultant Editor

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — For Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his alleged links with the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial just will not go away.

Today, influential blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin put up on his website a police cautioned statement from Sirul Azhar Umar, who is a co-accused in the murder trial of the Mongolian woman, detailing how he and co-accused Azilah Hadri were expecting to be paid between RM50,000 and RM100,000 to “settle” the matter.

On the same day, French newspaper Liberation also published a story detailing grisly details of how Altantuya was allegedly killed.

According to the “cautioned statement” published by Raja Petra, Sirul claims Azilah told him of a payment of between RM50,000 and RM100,000.

But it is the article in the French newspaper which is particularly damaging to Najib’s image, and which will not be welcome as he prepares to take over the leadership of Umno and become Malaysia’s sixth prime minister at the end of the month.

The article in the Liberation details how Altantuya allegedly begged for her life before she was shot.

According to Liberation, Altantuya was allegedly shot on the left side of her face, and a second time when her assailants noticed her hand was still moving.

The newspaper says it obtained the information from a “cautioned statement” which had been leaked to its writer.

Altantuya was eventually stripped of her clothes, and explosives were placed on different parts of her body. Her assailants then allegedly set off the explosives.

But these were not the parts of the article which were particularly damaging to Najib.

The newspaper claims that Najib had indeed met with Altantuya, who was the mistress of Abdul Razak Baginda, his close aide and associate, in Paris in 2005.

A photograph was allegedly taken showing the three in a Paris nightclub, the Liberation said without providing any evidence.

The Liberation also suggested that Abdul Razak had been Najib’s intermediary for arms purchases.

In October 2006, the newspaper claims that Altantuya was informed that the commission paid by Armaris, a Spanish company involved in Malaysia’s acquisition of three submarines for one billion euros (RM4.7 billion), had been deposited in a bank account in Malaysia.

The commission of 114 million euros was allegedly paid into the account of Perimekar, a company Razak controlled.

Altantuya then allegedly flew to Kuala Lumpur to demand her share of the commission, which was to have been US$500,000.

The Liberation provided no documentary evidence of the sensational details.

But the resurfacing of these links with the Altantuya murder appears designed to embarrass Najib.

Najib has consistently denied any involvement in the murder and has also said he had never met the woman.

But the issue just will not go away, and has been used by rivals to damage his credibility and has proven to be a significant liability for the ruling Barisan Nasional government.

The Shah Alam High Court is set to deliver its verdict on Azilah and Sirul on April 9.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Three by-elections on April 7 - Star

March 4, 2009


KUCHING: The Election Commission has fixed March 29 as nomination day for the Batang Ai by-election while polling is on April 7.

The nomination and polling dates are the same as the by-elections for the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat in Perak and the Bukit Selambau state seat in Kedah.

Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said the Commission decided to hold the three by-elections at the same time so as not to prolong the campaign period.

“We don’t want the campaign period to be too long. If we do it after the by-elections in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau, it would add nine more days to the campaign period to make it a total of 18 days.

“Such a long campaign period could create tension, so we feel that it’s best to hold the by-elections simultaneously; this would also save time for those involved in campaigning,” he told a press conference here Wednesday.

The Batang Ai seat fell vacant following the death of its four-term assemblyman Datuk Dublin Unting Ingkot on Feb 24.

Unting, who was also state assistant minister for sports and agriculture and a Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) vice-president, died nine months after suffering a stroke and falling into a coma.

Abdul Aziz said the Commission’s officers in Sarawak were ready to conduct the by-election and had made the necessary preparations.

He said the Commission had 25 vehicles and 18 boats ready as well as a helicopter on standby in case of an emergency.

He added that the dates were also suitable in terms of weather conditions as it would not be the dry season yet.

“I understand that during the dry season, it would be more difficult to navigate the rivers in the area,” he said.

The Commission will use the 2008 master electoral roll gazetted on Feb 19 this year for the by-election.

There are 8,006 registered voters in Batang Ai, including 43 postal voters.

Abdul Aziz said an enforcement team would be set up to monitor campaign activities from nomination day to the end of polling at 5pm on April 7.

He also said Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel) would be given permission to observe the by-election.

PRS, a Dayak-based Barisan Nasional component party, is expected to meet Thursday to decide on the candidate for the by-election.

Barisan is expected to face PKR, part of the Pakatan Rakyat alliance, and independent(s) in the fight.

Perak fiasco: Police made mistakes, says Syed Hamid - Star

March 4, 2009 By SAZUKI EMBONG

KOTA BARU: Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar admitted that the police made mistakes in handling the Perak State Assembly fiasco on Tuesday.

“If we study the situation in toto, we can see the mistakes made by the police. But I think the Bar Council should look at the situation from the point of law.

“In the first place, it was decided that the Speaker had been banned from convening a meeting and if he enters the State Assembly building, it would be trespassing.

“When one trespasses, it is the duty of the police to stop him,” Syed Hamid said.

The incident Syed Hamid was referring to took place on Tuesday morning, when police prevented Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen, including former Perak mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin, from entering the state secretariat building in Ipoh to hold an emergency sitting of the state assembly.

A group of what is believed to have been Barisan Nasional supporters also formed a barricade around the building, and there was some pushing and shoving.

The emergency sitting was called by State Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar, who was the only one allowed into the building. Instead, Sivakumar held the emergency sitting at a vacant lot near the secretariat building.

The court order restraining Sivakumar from holding any meeting “purporting to be state assemblies” was however only issued late Tuesday afternoon.

Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming filed an emergency motion at the Dewan Rakyat Speaker’s Office on Wednesday to debate and condemn the incident in Parliament.

On Tuesday, Nga and Titi Serong assemblyman Khalil Idham Lim had also lodged police reports against the Ipoh OCPD and state secretary for stopping the 28 assemblymen from entering the Perak Darul Ridzuan Building.

“This took place because they (Pakatan Rakyat reps) wanted to do things at their whim and fancy and refused to follow the law,” Syed Hamid told reporters after meeting Kelantan Rela members here Wednesday.

He had been asked to comment the Bar Council’s statement that the police had not been impartial when carrying out their duties.

The Bar Council statement said there were questions as to whether the emergency sitting concerned could be held outside the assembly building.

“Of course, the building is where the assembly ought to be held. However, the Speaker and assemblymen were prevented from holding it in a proper place by the police and this raises serious issues as to the legality of the police action,” council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said.

She said the police could have acted improperly on the advice of the assembly’s secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri which was in defiance of the Speaker.

Syed Hamid however said that Tuesday’s incident took place because they (Pakatan reps) had not complied with state laws.

“The law is the law and when we become elected representatives, we’re not above the law and must adhere to both state and Federal laws,” he said, without specifying which laws the Pakatan reps had broken.

Nga files emergency motion against Perak State Secretary and the police - Malaysian Insider

By Debra Chong and Edward Cheah

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — Opposition MP Nga Kor Ming filed an emergency motion against the State secretary and the police in Perak.

He claimed they had acted beyond their powers when they tried to prevent an emergency sitting of the Perak State Legislative Assembly at its gazetted venue in Ipoh yesterday.

“This is a form of harassment,” claimed Nga, who is also the state assemblyman for Pantai Remis.

He added that it is the “duty” of the police to usher the elected representatives into the State assembly building.

Nga also condemned the Ipoh High Court’s order barring Perak Assembly Speaker V Sivakumar from calling any more State assembly meetings.

He explained that the Speaker has “absolute immunity”, which protects him from any legal action while carrying out his official duties, and claimed that this provision was stated clearly in the Federal Constitution.

If the action by the Ipoh High Court were allowed, it would set “a dangerous precedent” and open “a dangerous floodgate of litigation”.

“If this precedent were set, then we could have someone challenging Tan Sri Pandikar Amin tomorrow,” Nga elaborated, and noted that it would result in a disruption of the proceedings in the federal lawmaking.

Stressing that “democracy has been violated by Umno-BN” Nga demanded that Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir quit immediately.

“We call upon Dr Zambry to resign as he has lost the confidence of the majority and must resign by today,” Nga told reporters in the Parliament lobby today, referring to the decision reached by PR lawmakers under the tree in Ipoh.

Karpal: Perak State Assembly can ignore ‘null and void’ court order - Malaysian Insider

By Debra Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 4 – The Perak state legislative assembly can ignore the Ipoh High Court order declaring its sitting under a tree yesterday as “illegal”, said DAP chairman Karpal Singh.

Speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby today, he said that Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim had acted beyond his powers and in contempt of the state assembly in that decision.

He maintains the Perak assembly had met lawfully, if unconventionally, away from the gazetted venue of the State Secretariat complex.

Because of that, the High Court’s order is “null and void”, Karpal insisted.

He added there was no need for the Assembly Speaker, V. Sivakumar, or the Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen to challenge the order of the judge.

“His order has no significance. It is null and void. It is non-existent,” said Karpal, who is also the MP for Bukit Gelugor.

Instead, Speaker Sivakumar can order Ridwan to be brought before the assembly and cite him for contempt of the assembly.

Karpal also noted that the Judicial Commissioner had made an error in dismissing the five independent lawyers appointed by Sivakumar to represent him in the High Court and instead, compelled the latter to seek the services of the State Legal Advisor.

“It’s a conflict of interest,” he stressed, and pointed out the State Legal Advisor, Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, has persistently claimed to be representing Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir in a case related to the dispute over who is the lawful menteri besar at the KL High Court.

If the judge insists that Sivakumar be represented by Ahmad Kamal because the suit was taken against him in his official capacity, then Ahmad Kamal should immediately disqualify himself from representing Zambry.

Karpal noted in such a case where the state assemblymen are suing each other, they each have the right to get independent lawyers to represent them.

He added that deputy state legal advisor, Zulkarnain Hassan, should not have represented Sivakumar in closed chambers yesterday.

“Sivakumar is a trained lawyer. He could have represented himself,” he highlighted, and added, “We must let natural justice proceed.”

“By right, the judge should have adjourned the hearing,” Karpal opined.

Nizar maintains ‘tree assembly’ is valid - Malaysian Insider

By Shannon Teoh

IPOH, March 4 – As far as Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin is concerned, he has been reaffirmed as the legitimate mentri besar of Perak, and he will go ahead with his plan to seek an audience with Sultan Azlan to seek a dissolution of the state assembly.

Picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

He told The Malaysian Insider late last night that the vote of confidence in his administration given by an emergency sitting of the state legislature was valid, despite Umno legal advisor Datuk Hafarizam Hassan’s insistence earlier in the day that the meeting under a tree was illegal.

The order obtained by Umno lawyers from the Ipoh High Court yesterday restraining Perak Speaker V Sivakumar from holding assemblies without the Sultan’s consent will be served on him today, and it will then become clearer what transpired in court yesterday.

Yesterday, Umno’s lawyers obtained the order in chambers, without the presence of Sivakumar’s lawyers who were removed earlier by the judge who ruled that only the state legal advisor could represent the Speaker, even though legal experts contend that the Speaker is not constitutionally a public official.

For now, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders are defiant and appear unwilling to accept yesterday’s court ruling.

“Yes, it is still valid,” Nizar told The Malaysian Insider when asked about the morning’s sitting.

“No court in the land can challenge the Speaker,” he declared defiantly.

Picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

After being refused entry into the state assembly building by police acting on the instructions of the state secretary, Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers proceeded to gather under a shade of a nearby tree where Sivakumar convened what he contends was a legitimate sitting of the state assembly.

The 20 minute sitting saw three votes passed – to reaffirmed that Nizar remained MB; to ask Nizar to seek a dissolution of the assembly; and to endorse the suspension of de facto mentri besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and his executive council from the assembly.

Nizar said last night he would still request an audience with Sultan Azlan Shah to ask his consent to dissolve the assembly and that the police reports by PR representatives against the Ipoh OCPD and the state secretary for obstructing the electoral process would be pursued.

DAP leaders also echoed his sentiment, and claimed they would continue to pursue “the rule of law” despite the “repugnant” events of the day.

Its Perak chief Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham listed a seemingly unending list of violations when speaking to The Malaysian Insider.

The laundry list included the police taking instructions from the state secretary instead of the speaker regarding matters of the assembly, but Ngeh reserved the main focus of his contempt for Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim’s rulings yesterday.

He said that a court could only grant an interim relief pending the outcome of a case, and not an indefinite order.

Furthermore, natural justice was not being observed by allowing the state legal advisor, who insists he is Zambry’s lawyer in a separate case, to also represent Sivakumar who is a respondent to Zambry’s suit.

“The legal advisor should himself not accept (the situation),” Ngeh said, adding that the ruling denied Sivakumar the proper access to the right of representation in court.

“He can cite the judge for contempt of the assembly,” said Ngeh, who was senior state executive councillor in Nizar’s government.

Both Ngeh and Nizar hold that the court’s ruling can be quashed in an ex-parte injunction.

Thomas Su, another of Nizar’s executive council members, also feels the ruling must be challenged or PR will be seen to be tacitly accepting the “repugnant ruling against the doctrine of separation of powers.”

“The court has made a repugnant ruling,” the lawyer said, adding that a more drastic option would be to go to the Court of Appeals.

Clearly, PR is in no doubt that BN has strong-armed the institutions onto its side and has set a dangerous precedent.

“BN has shown it has no regard for the rule of law,” said Ngeh.

“Now no legislative assembly is safe,” Su summed up.

Certainly, yesterday’s outdoors assembly was safe neither from the elements nor legal dispute.

But as evidenced by members of the public posing to take pictures with the tree after witnessing the unusual assembly, the tree may very well become a symbol of democracy for PR supporters.

Krisis Perak: Lagi saman difail, pilihan raya baru perlu? - MStar

Mac 4 2009 Oleh G. MANIMARAN

SEJARAH Sidang tergempar Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) diadakan di bawah pokok, di kawasan kira-kira 100 meter dari bangunan SUK Perak, Ipoh antara 10 hingga 10.30 pagi tadi. - foto The Star oleh ZABIDI TUSIN

PETALING JAYA: Pilihan raya tergempar cara terbaik! Majlis Peguam mengesyorkan agar diadakan pilihan raya baru untuk keluar daripada krisis politik Perak yang berlarutan lebih sebulan termasuk beberapa insiden membabitkan soal perundangan dan kehakiman semalam.

"Tidak ragu-ragu bahawa akan ada lagi kes (baru) yang difailkan di mahkamah. Dan, publik terpaksa melalui kesan ketidaktentuan (politik semasa).

"Situasi ini sukar dipertahankan dan memerlukan satu perkara yang akan menyelesaikan secara konklusif - pilihan raya baru.

"Kini ada pintu peluang bagi keadaan ini berlaku. Biarkan orang ramai memutuskannya," kata Presiden Majlis Peguam, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan dalam kenyataan yang dikeluarkan lewat petang ini ekoran "episod drama politik" terbaru yang disaksikan di Perak sejak pagi semalam.

Kenyataan beliau itu menyentuh pelbagai aspek yang berlaku sejak pagi tadi di Ipoh, antaranya penganjuran sidang tergempar di luar DUN, keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi untuk tidak mengiktiraf peguam swasta mewakili Speaker, tindakan polis menghalang ADUN daripada memasuki pekarangan bangunan SUK - yang menempatkan DUN.

Kata beliau, perkara yang berlaku di Perak di luar dugaan dan membabitkan isu perundangan yang kompleks.

Sungguhpun ia tidak munasabah untuk satu pandangan konklusif mereka, sesetengah perkara itu hendaklah ditangani sebagai satu perkara prinsip, katanya dalam kenyataan.

Beliau menanyakan sama ada dibenarkan untuk mengadakan persidangan Dewan Undangan di luar Bangunan Sekretariat Negeri.

"Tentulah, Bangunan Sekretariat Negeri di mana Dewan Undangan Negeri patut diadakan.

"Bagaimanapun, Speaker dan Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) dilarang daripada mengadakannya di satu tempat yang sesuai oleh polis dan ini membangkitkan isu serius mengenai kesahihan tindakan polis.

"Dengan itu Speaker tersebut tidak ada pilihan tetapi untuk bertindak dalam apa yang dilihat sebagai kuasa yang luas untuk mengadakan persidangan ini di tempat lain," kata beliau.

Beliau berkata ada pandangan berbeza, tetapi keadaan itu di luar dugaan dan Aturan Mesyuarat mungkin tidak meliputi sepenuhnya seperti keadaan yang tidak diingini, menyerahkan kepada Speaker dengan kuasa untuk bertindak mengikut keadaan kes itu.

Sreenevasan berkata keadaan itu tidak boleh dipertahankan daripada kritikan dan hanya mendesak untuk satu perkara iaitu pilihan raya negeri.

"Kini ada harapan untuk ini berlaku. Biarlah rakyat menentukan," tambah beliau.

Krisis politik Perak yang bermula 25 Januari lalu hari ini menyaksikan beberapa detik menarik dan mencemaskan serta menimbulkan pelbagai tanda - ke mana menujunya amalan demokrasi di negeri itu.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Perak State Assembly emergency session - Sun

March 3, 2009

A scuffle occurred when the opposition members tried to enter the building grounds to attend the emergency session in the building. Police only allowed Sivakumar into the building at about 9.45am and members of the public, including the media, were told to disperse.

Ipoh OCPD ACP Azisman Alias issued a warning to arrest anyone, including elected representatives, who refused to disperse. Police have since yesterday maintained tight security in the area, including closing several roads leading to the building. Over 100 opposition supporters had gathered outside the building since early morning.

The group was barred by police from entering the Perak Darul Ridzuan building, which houses the state assembly, because it did not have the consent of the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah.

Pasir Berdamar state assembly, Seah Leong Peng was barred by police from entering the Perak Darul Ridzuan building

Mohammad Nizar told the news conference that he would seek an audience with the sultan as soon as possible to present the assembly's decision to dissolve the Perak state assembly. Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir Menteri and assembly secretary had claimed that the sitting was invalid because it did not have the consent of the Sultan of Perak.

The Perak state assembly went ahead with its "emergency session" today, under a tree about 100m from the Perak Darul Ridzuan building which houses the assembly, and approved three motions. The motions expressed support for Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the Menteri Besar; called for the dissolution of the state assembly to enable fresh elections to be held and affirmed the Speaker's decision to suspend Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and his six state executive councillors from the state assembly.

The 30-minute session which started at about 10.20am was attended by Speaker V.Sivakumar and all the 27 assemblymen from PAS, DAP and Parti Keadilan. The first motion was tabled by Titi Serong assemblyman Khalil Idham Lim, the second by Teja assemblyman Chang Lih Kang and the third by Pantai Remis assemblyman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham. The assembly adjourned at 10.33am. The sitting, called by Sivakumar, was held outside after police barrred him and the 27 opposition assemblymen from entering the Perak Darul Ridzuan building, which houses the state assembly. With the assemblymen standing under a tree, the emergency session proceeded with the help of assembly speaker Mohd Misbahul Munir Masduki, who was appointed yesterday, and a loudspeaker.

Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat supporters threw abusive words at each other's outside Perak Darul Ridzuan State Building today.

Guan Eng slams cops for taking sides in Perak - Malaysian Insider

By Neville Spykerman

KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 – Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has lashed out at the police for not allowing the Perak state assembly sitting to be convened in the legislature building today.

Speaking at the lobby of Parliament here, Lim said he was disappointed that the police were again “taking sides”.

On Thursday, he said police did not act and were reduced to being spectators when Gelugor MP Karpal Singh was barred from entering parliament by a group from Umno Youth.

“Police claimed they had no power or authority inside Parliament, even though the incident happened inside the grounds but I remember they had previously made arrests at the Parliament car park.”

He said today, by barring the Perak speaker and lawmakers from entering the state assembly the police have demonstrated “differing standards”.

“The police are taking a political stand by preventing a legally constituted assembly from sitting.”

He said he understands there has also been threats of violence, in Perak, and yet the police are just standing by, just like when Karpal was surrounded in Parliament, last week.

Lim said he has heard unconfirmed reports about a gun being brandished during the fracas, adding that the news was very disturbing.

“The Police have shown that they are not the guardians of public safety but of Barisan National (BN) and this is regrettable.”

He added that the police have forgotten that their salaries are not paid by the BN but the people of Malaysia.

Lim said that BN wanted to rule Perak when the only had 46 per cent of the popular vote compared to 54 per cent held by Pakatan Rakyat.

“Since when is 46 per cent bigger then 54 per cent? Maybe they fail to understand after maths and science started to be taught in English.”

Meanwhile Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, during a debate, also sarcastically hit out at BN for the Perak fiasco.

“Today, I am speaking in this House but in Perak, they are meeting under a tree in front of the international media.”

Under a tree, assembly votes for fresh polls - Malaysian Insider

In what must surely be a first for Malaysia, the Perak state assembly comprising solely Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers vote with a show of hands on three resolutions while gathered under a shady rain tree in Ipoh. – Pic by Choo Choy May. Picture courtesy of Malaysian Insider

By Lee Wei Lian and Shannon Teoh

IPOH, March 3 — In the shade of a rain tree with the State Secretariat just 200 metres away, Perak Speaker V Sivakumar convened an emergency sitting of the state assembly today which effectively voted to end the de facto Barisan Nasional (BN) government of Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.

Across town at the same time in the Ipoh High Court, BN lawyers were arguing to stay the proceedings of the state assembly, pending a law suit against Sivakumar for suspending from the assembly Zambry and his six executive council members.

On an eventful day, Perak’s administration has been thrown into chaos with both BN and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) questioning the legitimacy of each other’s actions.

The State Secretary’s directive to close off the building which houses the state assembly had added to the confusion over the administration of the state.

The directive resulted in riot police barring state assemblymen from entering the building.

All the lawmakers that had turned up this morning were from PR parties. BN legislators, not surprisingly, did not show up as they contend the assembly was invalid.

Sivakumar was the only person given permission to access the building, but he chose instead to walk nearby to convene the assembly with the presence of the PR assemblymen.

Dressed in his ceremonial black robes and songkok, the Speaker presided over a sitting, which on the face of it appeared legal as long as he was present.

The sitting proceeded to pass three votes – expressing their confidence in Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin as mentri besar; calling on Nizar to seek a dissolution of the state assembly; and endorsing Sivakumar’s suspension of Zambry and the de facto BN executive council.

No entry, no problem for Perak Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar as he conducts the al fresco meeting

Nizar told reporters later that he would seek an audience with the Sultan to ask for consent to dissolve the assembly.

At the Ipoh High Court, Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim ruled that five lawyers, including constitutional expert Tommy Thomas, had no locus standi to represent the Perak Speaker in court.

He said the Speaker must be represented by the state legal advisor because he is part of the state government.

Thomas told reporters the team had no choice but to withdraw from the case.

Earlier this morning, a minor scuffle broke out when a group of unidentified men tried to stop Nizar and other PR assemblymen from entering the state assembly compound.

Subsequently, Nizar and the assembkymen were prevented from entering the state assembly by riot police, backed by two trucks with water cannons.

Yesterday, Zambry declared any attempt to hold an emergency sitting of the state assembly a “threat to national security.”