Monday, March 31, 2008
In a dramatic turnaround, newly-elected Buntong state assemblyperson A Sivasubramaniam has retracted his resignation from DAP hours after he made the announcement today.
His sudden resignation would have affected the tenuous grip on power by the DAP-PKR-PAS coalition, giving it only a one-seat majority over the Barisan Nasional opposition.
Sivasubramaniam's about-turn was announced at a hastily-organised press conference at 6pm in Ipoh.
Sivasubramaniam’s decision to quit was due to his unhappiness over the party’s allocation of only one position to an Indian in the state cabinet, the executive council.
Contacted by Malaysiakini this evening, Sivasubramaniam said he retracted his resignation after state leaders have assured him that there would be other opportunities for Indians in the state administration.
He said that he had settled the matter amicably after speaking to both party leader Lim Guan Eng and DAP Perak chief Ngeh Khoo Ham earlier today.
However, he defended his earlier decision to quit because the exco lineup which was announced on Saturday had disappointed the Indian community who had staunchly backed DAP, PKR and PAS.
“I received many calls and SMSes yesterday saying that the Indians had been sidelined again,” he said.
He said he had queried Ngeh on the matter yesterday but was merely told “an announcement would be made later”, prompting him to submit his resignation this morning.
“I couldn’t wait any more, so I handed in my resignation. But the situation was only explained to me today. If this was done earlier, there wouldn’t have been this problem,” he added.
“I believe what I’ve done today is a plus-point for the Indians,” he stressed, when asked if he regretted his move to hand in his resignation letter.
In view of the latest development, Sivasubramaniam also apologised for causing uneasiness to the public, the Buntong electorate, the party and the media.
An Indian for assembly's speaker
Meanwhile, Ngeh told Malaysiakini that the resignation scare was the result of a misunderstanding.
Contrary to Sivasubramaniam’s claims, Ngeh said that the state government plans to equitably allocate important positions to the Indian community.
This includes the nomination of an Indian to fill the state assembly speaker’s post. It is unclear whether Sivasubramaniam would be “rewarded” the post after his U-turn today.
"Out of respect for the state assembly, I could not announce it. When he asked about why only one Indian was given an exco post, I told there would be further announcements.
"Unfortunately, he misunderstood and thought that we behaved like Barisan, and would allocate only one exco post for the Indians.
"I have contacted him and clarified the matter and he agreed that the Indians are well represented,” said Ngeh.
Ngeh urged the public and party members not to judge the party’s leadership prematurely, adding that there are a host of vacancies which needs to be filled.
He assured that all groups would be given due consideration, including minority groups and women.
However, Ngeh refused to reveal the name of the person nominated for the speaker’s post.
In a letter to DAP secretary-general Guan Eng earlier today, Sivasubramaniam claimed that Ngeh had reneged on a promise to appoint two exco members from the Indian community.
“This is a major blow and lie to the Perak Indian community,” Sivasubramaniam wrote, according to a copy of the letter that was made available this morning to Malaysiakini. [See letter]
He stressed that DAP’s electoral victories in Perak were the result of makkal sakthi (‘people's power’ in Tamil), which has been the rallying cry for Indian Malaysians who felt marginalised by the BN government.
Buntong is a state seat where nearly 50 percent of voters are from the Indian community. Sivasubramaniam won with 10,311 votes - double that of his opponent Lee Tung Lai of MCA.
Hanging by a thread
Had Sivasubramaniam departed from the party, the DAP-PKR-PAS coalition state government would be hanging by a thread with only 30 seats against the BN opposition's 29 in the 59-seat state assembly.
The loose ruling coalition currently holds a three-seat 31-28 majority.
Sivasubramaniam's decision came hot in the heels after he was left out from the new exco line-up.
The new exco members were sworn in last Saturday, with the sole Indian in the team being Sungkai assemblyperson A Sivanesan.
This sparked rumours of a protest rally - purportedly to be held in Ipoh yesterday morning, although it did not materialise.
tunku : twisted tongue and merely a circus show by dap.
KLANG: ISA detainee and Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M. Manoharan's wife S. Pushpaneela has denied seeking MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu's help for the release of her husband.
"I didn't go and see Samy Vellu," Pushpaneela said.
She was commenting on Samy Vellu's statement on Sunday that she had gone to see him to seek his help.
She added that she did not understand why Samy Vellu wanted to appeal to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for the release of the five Hindraf members detained under the ISA (Internal Security Act) at this juncture.
"Why now, when he could have done it earlier?" said Pushpaneela.
She added that the onus had been on Samy Vellu to advise the Prime Minister not to detain the Hindraf 5 under the ISA.
However she did not dismiss the possibility that their relatives had gone to see Samy Vellu to seek his help.
"We have many relatives who are MIC members and strong supporters of the party," said Pushpaneela.
Manoharan's father M.S. Malayalam is the Kanchong Laut MIC branch chairman while Pushpaneela's sister S. Thangeswari is the Perak MIC Wanita chief.
Pushpaneela also added that if she needed any help she would turn to DAP chairman Karpal Singh.
"Mr Karpal is my pillar of strength, and if I needed anyone's support or help, he would be the one would I turn to."
Meanwhile R. Kenghadaran's wife Dr M. Kalaivani said that she and her husband's family did approach Samy Vellu during the early days of the Hindraf 5's detention.
"It must have been two or three weeks after their detention, and we went to see Samy Vellu in his capacity as the leader of the Indian community," she said.
She said they had gone to see Samy Vellu in the hope of securing Kenghadaran's release.
tunku : so mr samy, they clearly don't need your help.so stop becoming hero right now and concentrate on rebuilding of MIC.after all they believe karpal could release them, now we wait for karpal to release them.
PETALING JAYA: Buntong assemblyman A.Sivasubramaniam has quit DAP, leaving the DAP-PKR-PAS coalition government in Perak teetering on the brink of collapse.
In a letter to DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng dated March 31, Sivasubramaniam said he had had lost confidence in the Perak DAP as it failed to fulfill its promise to appoint two Indian state executive council members.
He added the decision was a "big slap" in the face of Perak Indians and tantamount to deceiving the community.
"My victory in Buntong was a mandate given by the Indian community in the area, and therefore I cannot accept the decision made by the Perak DAP," he added.
Sivasubramanian could not be reached for further comment.
Of the 10 exco members sworn in on March 29, six were from DAP, including one Indian representative, Sungkai assemblyman A. Sivanesan.
In the March 8 general election, the Opposition coalition won 31 state seats in Perak - 18 seats went to DAP, seven to PKR, and six to PAS - while Barisan bagged 28 seats.
With Sivasubramaniam's resignation from DAP, the coalition is left with 30 assemblymen.
tunku : it's just the beginning. before election they promised heaven to everyone.
Kadar Shah told them the divisions had to hold the EGM if more than two-thirds of the branches voted for it.
Whatever the branches decide should be based on the party constitution and the EGM be conducted according to party rules and regulations, he told the 60 branch leaders yesterday.
Last week, about 80 leaders sought Kadar Shah’s view on the EGM, saying they had lost confidence in the leadership.
They were disappointed when division chairman Datuk Mohd Ismail Mohd Shah lost the Maharani state seat in the recent general election.
Barisan Nasional candidates also lost the Bakri parliament seat and the Bentayan and Sungai Abong state seats in the general election.
The leaders said it was time for Umno to be revamped.
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad must shoulder some of the blame for Barisan Nasional's worst-ever performance in the recent general election, says former Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin.
Dr Mahathir’s various accusations swayed the people to vote against Barisan, he said.
“Laying all blame on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for Barisan’s losses is not right because it is clear that Dr Mahathir is full of anger and uncontrolled vengeance,” said Zainuddin.
“Maybe he was not aware or maybe he purposely did not want to be aware that his credibility as a former leader is still strong and that his influence on the grassroots, both Malay and non-Malays, is significant.”
“His credibility influenced people into believing what he said and he also lent this credibility to bloggers and websites,” he said when met at his house here yesterday.
Zainuddin said there were three statements in particular that affected Umno’s and Malaysians’ confidence in the leadership in the run-up to the elections.
“The first was when he said he regretted appointing Abdullah as the Prime Minister.
“This was then followed up by Dr Mahathir saying that Abdullah was only meant to be a one-term Prime Minister and that more opposition was needed in Parliament.”
Zainuddin added that the third and most damning statement that was widely accepted by all segments of society was about the role Deputy Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and his advisers played in the country’s politics and economy.
“This even caused Gerakan adviser Tan Sri Lim Keng Yaik to ask Abdullah to get rid of his advisers,” he said.
Zainuddin said he was merely telling the truth when he said thatDr Mahathir could not deny he had played a role in Barisan’s dismal poll results.
“This is not to say that other factors do not count, but Dr Mahathir cannot absolve himself from this.
“There have been many opinions in the aftermath of the election but Dr Mahathir being a factor was not really mentioned, “ he added
tunku : at last the loser talks.anyway zam, should Dr Mahathir had talked something that is not right, malaysian are smart enough to judge.everyone can see what's going on in umno and also in the government.you too had failed as a minister of information.your campaigning strategy had failed which prompted people to sympathize the opposition and hate the governmnet more.during Dr Mahathir's time, he too had been criticized from his former bosses, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn but he did not get the same faith like pak lah.Why? it's enough zam, you won't get anything else from pak lah,so now please shut your mouth.
PENANG, March 30 (Bernama) -- Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the Malays will be made use of by foreign powers if they choose Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister.
Describing Anwar as a "a man of many parts", he said Anwar had a glib tongue and hence could draw the attention of people from different groups and backgrounds.
"When he talks about Islam, Muslims will think he's a champion of Islam. He's also good at talking to the kampung (village) folk and also to those at temples.
"We know the west believes that Anwar will become prime minister in the near future. They can then lead him by the nose," said Dr Mahathir during a question-and-answer session after he opened the annual general meeting of Persatuan Melayu Tanjong (Penang Malays Association) here Sunday.
Someone in the audience had asked him about western media reports that Anwar would soon become Malaysia's prime minister.
"If the Malays are willing to kowtow to the foreigners, then they can choose this person (Anwar). I am sorry... he had maligned me all over the world, accusing me of arresting him and throwing him in jail," Dr Mahathir said.
Later at a press conference, he said the nomination quota system for an Umno member to contest a top party post was maintained during his party presidency to ensure that only those who qualified contested and not for personal interest.
Under the system, the party constitution's provision which stipulates that a candidate must secure nominations from at least 60 divisions in order to contest the president's post, was introduced after Dr Mahathir was challenged by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in 1987 and he (Dr Mahathir) retained the post with a majority of 43 votes.
Since then, the practice of not challenging the top party post has become a tradition.
Dr Mahathir said: "What was my interest then? I did not only win at that time but I had also won the top post uncontested many times.
"We did all that because if we didn't, some would do a Sulaiman Palestin, who had little support but contested the top post."
Dr Mahathir said when he was helming Umno, getting nominations from 60 divisions was not a problem.
He said this was proven when Anwar challenged Tun Ghafar Baba for the deputy president's post, whereby Anwar got many nominations... more than 30 percent as at that time there was no "control".
On this point, Dr Mahathir was responding to newspaper reports quoting Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as saying that he as a member of the party's Constitution Committee had brought before Dr Mahathir a grassroots proposal for lifting the 30 percent requirement.
However, Dr Mahathir had asked him to leave it as it was and this, said Muhyiddin, was mainly due to the fact that Dr Mahathir was the president and that the ruling would undermine any challenge to his presidency.
Dr Mahathir explained that the quota system was maintained at that time to ensure that party elections were treated as a serious matter, therefore the candidates must be serious or qualified enough to contest to avoid wasting time as the election process took a lot of time.
Dr M throws challenge over judicial crisis issue
PENANG: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad challenged his detractors to show where he had gone wrong in the so-called judicial crisis of 1988 and take him to court.
He said all actions taken that led to the sacking of then Lord President Tun Salleh Abbas was done according to the law and constitution.
“If they (the critics) can show in which part I was wrong, I am willing to be charged in court,” he said when fielding questions from Tanjong Malay Association members at a hotel here yesterday.
Dr Mahathir said it was illogical for him or the Government to apologise to Salleh because actions were taken in accordance with provisions of the law.
On the five states and one Federal Territory currently controlled by the alternative coalition, Dr Mahathir said the opposition parties might be able to win the hearts of even the Malays if they could rule fairly.
On de facto PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, he said cynically that “everybody loved Anwar.”
“When he is with the Jews, the Jews love him. When he is with the Muslims, the Muslims love him. When he is with the temple groups, they love him too.
“Everybody loves him. He is a convincing orator. He talked bad about me to foreigners. He told them I put him in jail,” he said.
On talks that Anwar stood a chance to be the next prime minister, he said he would make a “good prime minister of Israel”.
On Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s allegation that Dr Mahathir introduced the 30% nomination quota to contest top Umno posts to protect himself when he was in power, Dr Mahathir said the policy was to ensure only serious candidates contested the post.
“During my time it was easy to get 30% nomination.
“But not now, because most of the leaders in Umno today are ‘yes men’ who do everything to please the leadership,” he said.
Dr Mahathir: Impossible for BN to win back the 5 states
PENANG (March 30, 2008): It will be impossible for Barisan Nasional (BN) to wrest back the five states which it lost to the opposition in the general election, says former prime minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad.
Mahathir said those who voted for the opposition were no longer interested in the BN and would not return to the party.
"If the opposition governments succeed in governing these states well, even the Malays will be attracted and turn their backs on the BN.
"Even Umno members during this elections secretly voted for the opposition, not because they loved the opposition but for the love of the party (Umno).
"They wanted to send a warning to the party leadership but unfortunately the leadership is still in a slumber and in denial about the losses.
"Not only has Umno been destroyed, but also MCA, MIC, Gerakan and even BN," Mahathir said in his speech when officiating at the Persatuan Melayu Tanjung (Permata) annual general meeting in a hotel here today.
The former prime minister was in his element, raising laughter among those present though his speech was laced with hard hitting comments on the present government leadership.
Mahathir said when the opposition won in the many states, police warned that there should not be any celebrations or rallies but practised double standards when it came to Umno members.
"When Lim Guan Eng spoke about the NEP, all he said was he wanted to abolish the corruption as a result of NEP and there were people who demonstrated.
"Police did not do anything about the demonstrators and they too practiced double standards," Mahathir added.
He reiterated his call to Umno members to speak out if they loved the party and wanted the party to remain relevant in years to come. For 450 years we were ruled by outsiders and we still refused to speak out or retaliate.
"Now the Malays are so scared to voice out their opinion and have been reduced to saying 'yes sir' to the party leadership. If we continue to be like this, we will forever be under the rule of someone or other and never be freed from our shackles of colonialism until the end of time.
"The future of Umno is in your hands, if you remain scared to speak out, there is no future for Umno if those who are elected are those singled out by the party leadership," he added.
When asked if he thought former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim could one day become Malaysia's premier, Mahathir said it would spell doom for the country.
"He seems to be a man of many parts, changing his tune to different audiences. He is only fit to be the Prime Minister of the Israel and he will destroy the country if he is made Prime Minister as he will allow interference by other countries into our affairs," Mahathir said.
Mahathir was also asked to comment on Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's statement that the 30% quota system for nomination for party elections was introduced by Mahathir to protect his own presidency.
Mahathir has asked for the 30% party support rule to be abolished.
"When we introduced it, it was done to allow only those who had substantial support from party members to contest and not for anyone to do so at their whim and fancy.
"It was not difficult for me to garner that support then and I welcomed those who wanted to challenge me even Razaleigh (Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah) and even someone who is now Prime Minister (Abdullah).
"I never gave out instructions that none should stand against me but you see what happened to Razaleigh when he wanted to challenge Abdullah in 2004?
"He only obtained one vote from his division because the others were threatened not to support him. Even in 2004, Khairy Jamaluddin won uncontested. I know for a fact that people who wanted to stand against him were threatened and hauled up by Youth Chief (Datuk Seri) Hishamuddin (Hussein) to stay away.
"What is this? If he was a shining and outstanding example we can accept but undue pressure was put on Umno members not to contest against him," he added.
He said though there were those within Umno who would make a better president and said they must have advisers chosen via the council and not their own family members.
TAIPING: The Kampung Jebong MIC branch in Simpang here was officially dissolved when 110 of its members quit the party to become members of "Kelab Penyokong PAS" (PAS Supporters Club).
Branch chairman M. Muninathan, accompanied by committee members, submitted their application forms to Bukit Gantang MP Roslan Shaharom at a village temple here on Saturday night.
Roslan said the welfare of the former MIC branch members and members of the Indian community would be taken care of.
"We will take care of you because any problems affecting the Indian community will also affect members of the other communities," he said.
Roslan said he was indebted to the Indian community here as more than 95% of Indian voters within the Bukit Gantang parliamentary constituency had voted for him in the recently-concluded general election.
He said members of the community had every reason to rejoice as two of the three state seats in the constituency had been won by Barisan Rakyat, and the victors -- Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering) and Tai Sing Ng (Kuala Sepetang) -- had been appointed exco members of the new Perak state government.
tunku : eager to hear samy's comment on this issue.
SHAH ALAM, March 30 (Bernama) -- Umno's nomination quota system for candidates aspiring to contest top posts in the party is still relevant, said its information chief Senator Tan Sri Muhammad Muhamad Taib.
He said the system that has been in place for 22 years since the era of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad, was aimed at ensuring only serious and capable leaders were chosen to contest key posts during party elections.
"Before it was introduced, non-serious contenders had entered the fray. It is still necessary to prevent people from contesting "for the fun of it"," he told reporters after holding a meeting with village heads from throughout Selangor here Sunday.
He said this in response to suggestions by former prime minister and former Umno president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that the system be abolished because it was being abused by party leaders.
"Whether it (system) is good or not good is a secondary question. I am not saying it is good or not good.We just want to ask what was the rationale when it was introduced and why were there no objections then," he said.
Under the quota system, a candidate wishing to contest the president's post must be nominated by at least 60 of the 191 divisions in the party.
In the old system, a presidential hopeful needed only two divisions to nominate him.
On Sunday's meeting, Muhammad, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, said the village heads reiterated their support for the Barisan Nasional now that Selangor had fallen into opposition hands following the March 8 general election.
tunku : mat taib took over the role of nazri aziz as the new hatchet man.he is the only one making the opposite statements that favours pak lah.keep dreaming that people still supporting BN in selangor, if they did BN will be the government of the day.
KUALA LUMPUR: MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has urged the government to release the five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders who are being detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA).
He said two of the leaders -- R. Kenghadaran, 40, who is very sick and M. Manoharan, 46, who had won the Kota Alam Shah state seat in Selangor on a DAP ticket on March 8 -- should be freed sooner.
He said another two, V. Ganabatirau, 34, and K. Vasantha Kumar, 34, had not been very much involved in the rally organised by Hindraf in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25 last year.
The fifth leader being detained under the ISA is P. Uthayakumar.
Speaking to reporters after opening a workshop on "Rebranding the MIC" here Sunday, Samy Vellu said the wives of Kenghadaran and Manoharan had approached him for his assistance.
"I have decided to raise it with the government. I will raise it (the issue of their release) with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after he returns from Sabah.
"I will also meet Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan. I have already made some moves on this earlier but I did not tell anyone. I will now make a firm move to see what can be done by the government with regard to their plight," Samy Vellu claimed.
He said Ganabatirau, and Vasantha Kumar were "not very much involved (in the rally), so the government has to make a decision."
Samy Vellu claimed that this was not a publicity stunt or a move to win back Indian support for the party.
"This is done in fairness, sympathy and, also, we feel that we as Indians have to do something about it. It is not a publicity stunt," he said.
Samy Vellu said that he was harshly criticised by certain people when he spoke to Abdullah and the Attorney General about reducing the attempted murder charges against the 31 people detained during the Hindraf rally, but he had continued to assist them.
tunku : yea, you are doing it right after you and mic defeated and rejected.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 – It will be a tough week ahead for Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. This is the week he tries to pacify Sabah Barisan Nasional politicians and braces for more attacks from his rivals, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
BN Sabah component parties have been agitating for more representation in Cabinet since the line-up of ministers and deputy ministers was announced. They are upset that despite the stellar performance of their candidates in delivering the state to BN, Sabah was not allocated more representation in the Cabinet.
Datuk Shafie Apdal, the Culture and Heritage Minister, said that the call for more representation from the state was “pertinent” and that it was from the grassroots. Abdullah has met a stream of Sabah MPs this week and they have given him a laundry list of complaints, from the lack of financial support (read: projects) to the way the state is being managed by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman. They also believe that Sabah has not been given due recognition by Abdullah.
The PM will have to make a trip to Sabah to hear all the BN component parties out and soothe their hurt feelings. He may also need to sort out a couple of the agitators.
Closer to home, he will have to contend with another blast from Dr Mahathir.
The former prime minister, who is making a comeback of sorts, will be speaking to an Umno gathering on Tuesday organized by MYKMU.NET and on the 6th April 2008 at De Palma Hotel, Jln Ampang organized by a branch of Pandan Umno Division. It is likely that he will continue to press all the pressure points of the administration – the standoff with the palace over the appointment of the Terengganu Mentri Besar, the need for Abdullah to take responsibility for Election 2008 and the push to change the constitution and make the party president answerable to a presidential council.
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who has indicated a willingness to challenge Abdullah for the Number 1 position in the party, will be meeting more Umno division leaders to convince them to push for a special assembly on May 11. This special assembly has become even more important now that the party’s supreme council has decided to hold election in December.
If Ku Li manages to get enough divisions to push for a special assembly, it could provide a platform for some constitutional changes, including removing a clause which states that anyone wanting to contest the party president’s position must have the support of 60 divisions.
tunku : lately we can see more and more opposing voice in umno.some had realized and some are still dreaming.
BUTTERWORTH, March 30 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Saturday lashed out at the Penang state government for adopting a fully open tender system as it does not guarantee fairness to those who are financially weak to compete.
He said in principle the proposal by the state government to emphasise on equitability appeared to be good but this would actually result in only those who were financially strong benefiting from the system.
"The transparency, open tender and open bidding approach is certainly good and gives comfort to everyone but we have to remind them that not everything that is said to be equitable is fair. Actually, only the strong and those with financial capacity will derive benefits from it.
"This is our reminder to them because it is our (Barisan Nasional's) responsibility as the opposition party (in Penang) to give our views and we will become an opposition that is active, sensitive and curious about what is happening in Penang. We are not around just to keep the seat warm," he said at a thanksgiving gathering held by the Penang Umno Liaison Body, here Saturday night.
He clarified that the New Economic Policy (NEP) was not merely for the Bumiputeras as it also assisted the Chinese and Indian communities because the policy was not racially biased. He said the NEP was a national approach implemented to eliminate poverty regardless of race, enable equitable distribution to the people including enlarging the Bumiputera Commercial and Industrial Community (BCIC) and ensuring a robust economic growth to be enjoyed by all races.
Abdullah, who is also the chairman of the State Umno Liaison Body, reminded the 11 Umno Assemblymen, who represent the Barisan Nasional (BN), to fight for the cause of all races in the state.
"They have a heavy responsibility not only as the Assemblymen in their constituency but also as the opposition in the State Assembly," he said.
As such, he praised the strategy of the State Umno Liaison Body to give each Assemblyman a responsibility or portfolio to monitor the implementation of state government policies.
At the meeting of the state Umno management committee chaired by Abdullah earlier Saturday, it was decided that a `shadow executive council' would be appointed with each of the Umno assemblymen who won in the recent general election being given portfolios equivalent to the state government executive council.
The Prime Minister also gave an assurance to the people of Penang that the federal government led by the BN would continue to give effective service to the people and fulfil the promises contained in its manifesto.
Also present at the gathering were deputy chairman of the Penang Umno Liaison Body Datuk Seri Abdul Rashid Abdullah, Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and Perlis Umno Liaison chairman Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.
tunku : first of all only 300 people including penang cm and his two deputies welcomes the pm in penang??? it should at least be 3000.its the home state of the pm which lost it to opposition.
anyway, coming back to open tender, yes it doesn't guarantee fairness in open tender as the authorised body/person still can award the project to anyone they like.what pak lah said is that ut does not guarantee fairness to those who are financially weak to compete is not true. we can see 95% of 'direct nego' or directly awarded projects are handed over to very establish giant companies, sometimes 2-3 projects a year to the same company.
i still believe open tender is the best provided after selecting a contractor, the government should made public all the companies that participated and their full details and why the specific company has been chosen.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad called upon Muslims worldwide to boycott Dutch products in protest of a film released Monday on the Internet which criticised Islam’s holy book, the Quran.
He said such a boycott could result in The Netherlands having to “close shop”, as Muslims made up the wealthiest portion of the world’s population and were also the biggest importers.
However, in order to be effective, all 1.3 billion Muslims in the world must unite in the boycott and put the interest of Islam and Muslims over that of individual needs.
“We must not be afraid of losing trade with them. If we do, then we won’t be thinking as Muslims, but more for our own self intersts,” he told reporters after opening the Malaysian Islamic Welfare Organisation’s (Perkim) 46th annual general meeting at a hotel here, today.
Dr Mahathir was referring to Fitna, a 15-minute film posted on a website on Thursday that highly criticised Islam, setting verses of the Quran against a background of violent images from terrorist attacks.
Dutch legislator Geert Wilders created the film, which also shows statements from radical clerics and cited verses from the Quran interspersed with images of the Sept 11 attack on the United States, the 2004 commuter train bombings in Spain and the murder later that year of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh on an Amsterdam street.
Earlier, Dr Mahathir had said the film was a result of misconceptions about Islam and there was also a “critical motive behind it”.
“They will continue to do this until we show to them Islam is a good religion, that we are not violent people, that we don’t tell lies to people...but this must be shown in practice by the Muslim community,” he said.
On the home front, Dr Mahathir who is also Perkim president, said it was very important for Perkim to give the right impression of Islam to Muslims and non-Muslims alike so that there would be no misunderstanding on the religion, which could lead to fear, suspicion or hostility against Islam. — BERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR: The nomination quota to contest top posts in Umno should be abolished, as it is being abused to prevent members from nominating candidates, said former party president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He pointed out that when he was president, anyone was free to challenge him, and although at that time there was already the quota in place, “those days it was easy to get 60 divisions (nominations)”.
However, he added, when Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah wanted to challenge Umno president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2004, he only managed to get one nomination from his own division.
“(This is) because other divisions were told not to nominate him. There was no freedom. I think it’s about time they revised this provision because of the tendency of the people with the power to stifle any move to criticise or oppose them,” he said after launching the Perkim annual general meeting on Saturday.
Dr Mahathir, who is Perkim president, said there was nothing wrong with having a contest for the presidency in the upcoming December party election, adding that other Umno presidents including him were also previously challenged.
On who was likely to challenge Abdullah, Dr Mahathir said it could be Razaleigh (who had offered himself) or others.
Behind the failure of civilizations, governments, organizations and even small teams and groups perhaps the one and only one factor always blamed is Leadership. It is probably due to the fact that people, followers, and even opponents expect a lot from a leader. A leader is thus most of the time rightly or wrongly blamed for the failure and disasters of their organizations and assigned missions. Leaders are sometimes to be blamed because they make disastrous mistakes which bring them down. As such every leader must avoid certain key leadership mistakes. A lot has been written about how to become a good leader, however there are a few information resources on how to avoid leadership mistakes. The list of leadership mistakes can be very long but the following are the top 10 leadership mistakes derived from leadership research which are worth avoiding.
TOP 10 LEADERSHIP MISTAKES WORTH AVOIDING:
1. POWER HUNGRY:
Excessive control vested in a leader alone makes others powerless and key decisions which are to be made by the down layer gets delayed or are never made. Moreover a leader who is power hungry and wishes to retain all control in his/her hands will never be liked as people will feel disempowered and may even revolt against them. A leader must therefore share power with able adjutants and empower others.
2. OVER INDULGENCE IN PLEASURE:
Hieronymus Bosch painted a famous master piece of art entitled The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things in 1485. The painting is presented in a series of circular images. Four small circles, detailing "Death", "Judgement", "Hell", and "Glory", surround a larger circle in which the seven deadly sins are depicted: wrath at the bottom, then proceeding clockwise, envy, greed, gluttony, sloth, extravagance (later, lust), and pride. So extravagance or over indulgence in personal pleasure and succumbing to lust is one of the deadly sins which can bring down a leader. Whether it is a political or a corporate leader indulging in undue pleasure can be a one way ticket to disgrace and downfall. History is replete of myriad of examples where kings and rulers instead of running the day to day affairs of their people spent more time playing with their many concubines and mistresses and lost whatever they inherited or possessed.
3. DECLINE IN CHARACTER:
Moral derailment and decline leading to a poor character is also a deadly mistake which can destroy a leader. Corruption, laziness, cronyism etc. are some of the symbols of moral decline which proves deadly to a leader´s career. Korn-Ferry International, an executive search company, performed a survey on what organizations want from their leaders. The respondents said they wanted people who were both ethical and who convey a strong vision of the future. In any organization, a leader's actions set the pace.
4. SURROUNDED BY FLATTERERS:
A person who tells you the truth is your best friend rather than the one who tells you lies and flatter you. Many a leaders destroyed themselves and their organizations because the people surrounding them were telling them what these leaders wanted to hear rather what ought to be told. This made them out of touch with reality and committed ruinous blunders. Whether it was the attack and defeat of John F. Kennedy in the Bay of Pigs in Cuba, or president Bush´s attack on Iraq on false grounds one can not but blame both of them by surrounding themselves with people who withheld truth from them and rather told them what they wished to hear, ultimately bringing shame and disgrace and destruction to themselves and others. The Bush mistakes will ultimately also prove a victory for democrats in the coming US polls.
Perhaps the most fatal of all mistakes for a leader is arrogance. My mother always says that when " ants get wings they die". So when God wants to destroy someone He first makes that person arrogant. Blind overconfidence in one´s capabilities, dismissing good ideas from others, and too much pride in oneself are some of the hallmarks of an arrogant leader. Arrogant leaders dig their own graves as they tune out even some of the most beneficial ideas which others bring up to them. On the other hand humility is a good trait which helps leaders succeed in their given tasks. Kouzes and Posner, leadership experts, maintain that even exemplary leaders gain the support of all of the individuals involved in a task; they state, "Titles are granted, but it´s your behavior that wins you respect."
6. REFUSAL TO CHANGE:
Change is a very popular word and there are books, seminars, articles, and journals which teach people how to change. Rightly so, change is a fact of life as every seconds of our life is experiencing change. A good leader must change and remain in control of the changing environments. Not only must leaders change but facilitate changes in their people too. Sadly some leaders opt for death than to change and it so happens that not only they die alone but kill their nations, corporations, and organizations.
7. BLAMING OTHERS BUT ONESELF:
Many a mediocre leaders are adept in the blame game. They blame others, environment, even God for their mistakes. A great leader shoulders the responsibility and accepts his/her mistakes. In fact when it is the mistakes even of their followers good leaders take it on themselves. Simply saying "sorry my mistake" is much better than blaming others as people do not like an arrogant leader. A leader who takes the blame in fact earns the respect of his/her people. The Ex US president Henry Truman used to keep The sign "The Buck Stops Here" on his desk in his White House office
One of the biggest leadership diseases is indecision. Sometimes a leader has to make tough, unpopular, and painful decisions but they must be made as they are needed. Indecision can cripple a leader as the fear can overwhelm them into inaction and thus miss many opportunities. Not only will it affect the success you have as a leader, but it will negatively affect almost every facet of your people and organization. The main job of a leader is to make good decisions and if they lack this trait they do not deserve to be the leader of their people. If you are indecisive you will soon lose the respect of everyone around you and the organization as a whole will also lose a lot.
9. TAKING UNDUE CREDIT:
Great leaders always give credit to others when it is due as they believe that rewarding at least verbally the contribution of others will encourage them to do more for the cause. However one of the most despicable mistakes committed by some leaders is that they take all the credit themselves even if they do not deserve it. This alienates and discourages others who ultimately withhold credit due to the leader. Please note that your role as a leader is not to do everything yourself rather facilitate others to achieve organizational goals and give them credit when they do that.
10. UNETHICAL BEHAVIOUR:
The ethical behaviour of a leader is that behaviour which aligns with legal, moral, societal, spiritual and human values. All actions which go against these values will be regarded as unethical. In the corporate as well as political spheres there is a renewed quest for dominating others even through unethical means. In the corporate world, in order to achieve greater competitiveness and market share businesses use all sorts of unethical strategies to win and defeat their competitors. These approaches not only prove disastrous for the leaders but the fire engulf and destroy their organizations too. Recent corporate scandals such as Enron and WorldCom are symptoms of unethical behavior which proved devastating not only for the leaders but for the whole organizations too.
Nothing is more disastrous than the mistakes made by a leader as leadership mistakes at times drown companies, countries, and even great civilizations. There are many mistakes which account for the debacle of a leader and the organizations they lead. It will take volume to write them all. However research in the leadership fields have singled out the top 10 deadliest mistakes as outlined here which are worth avoiding by all leaders. If you do not wish to fail as a leader you must particularly avoid these common leadership mistakes.
tunku : pak lah should read this.
KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 – His jet set days seem a lifetime ago. The days of hopping onto a helicopter for a trip to Penang or a quick turnaround to Paris on his private jet. Or a power breakfast with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikonnen. Or cocktails with Oracle’s Larry Ellison at the America’s Cup in Valencia.
Those days must seem a long time ago for Datuk Patrick Lim Soo Kit.
Today, he must feel like a man with a bulls-eye on his back. The suave and well-turned out businessman has retreated to the background, hoping that the changing political structure will not leave him on the sidelines as it has many prominent Malaysian corporate figures over the year.Think of Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng, Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, Datuk Nazri Abdullah and others who paid for their close association with either Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah or Anwar Ibrahim.
What was once a powerful calling card is now a liability for the man christened Patrick Badawi by his enemies. And make no mistake now that Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s hold on power is tenuous, Patrick Lim’s enemies are coming out in droves.
Leading the charge is Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. In his column in The Sun today, the former prime minister implies that the former Terengganu mentri besar Idris Jusoh and the first family may have benefited from various mega-projects. He does not name the conduit. He does not have to.
It was Dr Mahathir who publicly accused Lim and Khairy Jamaludin of running Terengganu at the height of his public spat with Abdullah. By referring to him today, Mahathir is merely drawing on a reservoir of disdain, envy and anger against Patrick among Umno members.
His critics say that Patrick dropped Abdullah’s name at every turn, and that helped propel him into the big league and pages of society magazines. He hit the Malaysian corporate scene in the 1990s when - with the help of some financial backing from his wealthy father-in-law - his company started Equine Park, a housing development in Selangor.
As with many businessmen in Malaysia, he hitched his fortunes to the political master of the day. In the waning days of the Mahathir administration, he hung out with Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir, and they became thick friends. After Abdullah became the PM in October 2003, Lim started getting closer to Kamaludin, Abdullah’s only son. Within a short time, he made himself part of the inner circle, showing up when Abdullah and family members went on holidays.
By now, there was speculation that he was a nominee for Kamaludin. Within some government departments and states, there was little doubt that he had the ear of the PM, or at least he gave the impression he had.
He began to attract disdain and envy after he was selected by Abdullah to develop Pulau Duyong near Kuala Terengganu and organise the Monsoon Cup. In a short time, the Monsoon Cup has become a popular warm-up for teams planning an assault on the America's Cup.
In the same time, rumblings started on the ground that Lim and Abdullah’s family were the main beneficiaries of the major infrastructure projects in the state. This was one of the sticky points between Idris Jusoh and the royal household in the recent battle over the Mentri Besar’s position. Lim was aware of the growing noise and attempted to hush it by pointing out of the many economic benefits which the Monsoon Cup brought to the state.
What he failed to realise was that the criticism had little to do with the race itself but was aimed at its promoter and benefactor in Putrajaya. Within Umno circles, they were peeved that a businessman, not one of their own, could wield so much influence and do it so openly.
If there was any doubt about Lim’s close ties with Abdullah it was swept away when the Prime Minister launched the Penang Global City Centre last year. The project – an ambitious plan to turn a tiny neighborhood into a sprawling metropolis – was fast tracked as a high-impact project under the National Implementation Task Force and put under the Northern Corridor.
Critics said that the project, to be developed on a 104-ha site now occupied by the Penang Turf Club, will create traffic jams, damage lush green areas and will be unsustainable. The new state government under Lim Guan Eng is not likely to approve the project unless it is scaled down.
Lim knows that his days of being in the frontline are over.
He will be collateral damage even if Abdullah survives this choppy period. It is the price that businessmen in Malaysia pay for being associated with certain political leaders. Tan Sri Halim Saad of the Renong Group and Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli were the poster boys of the Mahathir era and paid for the excesses associated with that time.
Only a handful of corporate figures have been able to be close to different political masters. Among them is Berjaya’s Vincent Tan. He has remained loyal to Dr Mahathir but managed to win the trust of Abdullah. But the publication of Dr Mahathir’s long and piercing attack on Abdullah on the front page of a newspaper closely associated with Tan suggests that he is hedging his bets.
tunku : i am sure very soon patrick will be best buddy of guan eng.
Friday, March 28, 2008
PETALING JAYA (March 27, 2008): A Concerned Malaysian has expressed his worry over the role being played by Sultans in the appointment of the Mentri Besar.
His Royal Highnesses have clearly refused to take the advice of the Chief Minister i.e. the Prime Minister. Instead, they have chosen on their own a member of the state legislature to head the Government.
We hear a lot of opinions on the propriety of the action by the Sultan. Some say he has the right to do this while others point out that as a constitutional ruler, he could not do this.
The Constitution says that the Ruler or Head of State must choose the elected member who enjoys the support of the majority of members in the legislative body to be the Prime Minister or the Mentri Besar. Subject to this provision, the Ruler it is who chooses and appoints the Prime Minister or Mentri Besar.
The Prime Minister, as Prime Minister, has no role in the choice of the State Mentri Besar or Ketua Menteri. His naming of candidate who should be the Mentri Besar is purely a party matter. Obviously, if the State is captured by the Opposition Party, he cannot name the candidate.
However, if the Ruler chooses someone who does not enjoy majority support, he could be deposed at a sitting of the legislative body through a vote of "no confidence".
After that, another member can be appointed by the Ruler to take his place. But if for some reason, there is no other candidate or the candidate with majority support is considered unsuitable by the Ruler, a new Government cannot be formed. The Ruler may then dissolve the legislative body and a new election may be held.
This new election may lead to the same impasse. The Ruler may not like the member with majority support.
However, it should be noted that this kind of thing had never happened during the premiership of the four previous Prime Ministers. Concerned Malaysians should wonder why.
Is it just that the particular Ruler is being difficult, unwilling to accept the principles of democracy, wanting to return to feudalism and the absolute authority of the monarch?
I do not think so. There must be a reason why the Ruler refuses to accept the candidate named by the party. But the Ruler chooses not to reveal the reasons and indulge in public debates. He merely expresses his displeasure by refusing to do what normally the Rulers would do.
Concerned Malaysians must ask what has the particular candidate done which is so wrong that it incurs the displeasure of the Ruler.
There are lots of talks in the town. Terengganu is blessed with petroleum deposits. It should get 5% of the total earning from oil production. The Federal Government; fearing the previous PAS government might use this money wrongly had withheld payment.
But when the Barisan Nasional (BN) regained Terengganu the money, now called "Wang Ehsan", was lavishly spent by the Federal Government on Terengganu. It is not a small sum. Over these years "Wang Ehsan" totalled several billion.
We know that since the BN regained Terengganu in 2004, all kinds of projects have been developed in Terengganu. This includes The Monsoon Cup, luxury housing for sale to foreigners, Crystal Mosque and theme park, university, etc. Some of these projects are very good but many are totally unnecessary and wasteful.
But what the Terengganu people are saying is that all these mega projects costing billions of Ringgit have been contracted out to people outside Terengganu. Terengganu contractors got practically nothing.
But additionally, they say the contracts all went to one person and they are suspicious that behind this person are members of the first family.The rumours also say that the previous Mentri Besar was responsible for these things happening and of course, they think that he might have benefited financially.
The rumours went on to say that the Prime Minister might have influenced the Mentri Besar into doing wrong things. These are all rumours. It will be quite impossible to prove anything as the perpetrators are skilled in hiding themselves.
This is not good for a Government keen to abolish corruption and be transparent. To clear its name, an investigation should be made.
But the public is leery of investigations by Government agencies and departments. Even Royal Commissions are not highly regarded. The people believe, not true of course, that the Government has been interfering with the work of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), the Police and the Attorney General (A-G)'s Chambers. The say this is borne out by the results of investigations by these agencies.
When a Deputy Minister was accused of accepting money for the release of a detainee, the A-G said there was no case because the detainee said he did not give any money to the Deputy Minister. It is so easy. If you have a case involving someone, all the enforcement agencies need to do is to ask him whether he was involved. If he says "no", then there is no case.
For some reason, judges are finding that people accused of murder are not guilty because of insufficient evidence by the police. Yet people who are totally not involved in a case, who were not accused of any misdeeds and who did not appear in court at all and been given a hearing are found guilty and publicly condemned.
The public cannot be blamed for not having faith in Government agencies doing investigations. The public cannot be blamed for suspecting cover-ups by the Government or worse still the Government may be using these enforcement agencies to threaten people.
To clear its good name, the Government should get credible foreign agencies to do the investigation. Of course, they must be given full access to the documents etc.
Now my detractors are going to say I did worse things when I was Prime Minister. Well, if that is so, let us have the foreign agencies investigate me also. I am aware that people are looking into possible misdeeds by me during my 22 years so as to threaten me and ask me to shut up. So far they have not found anything.
Not only have I not taken anything that was not due to me while I was Prime Minister but I have given back to the Government and the people everything that I had received as gifts during my tenure of office.
The Government had offered me land in Kedah and Langkawi and I had refused to accept. I have a 5-acre plot in Putrajaya which I paid for even though the Government was offering it to me free.
Unless there is a frame-up, I think there should be nothing to pin on me. Even other accusations against me, including the dismissal of judges, were not my doing and I do not feel obliged to apologise. Ask the Tribunal to apologise.
The person asking that the Government should apologise for what happened to Tun Salleh Abbas may have forgotten that as President of the Muslim Lawyers Association, he fully supported the action that was taken. He castigated the Bar Council for condemning Tun Hamid Omar over the dismissal of judges. Now he wants to be more correct than correct. I wonder why.
Umno should initiate drastic changes to ensure it continues to remain relevant to the people, a veteran party leader said. Bukit Gelugor Umno division chief Senator Datuk Omar Faudzar said results of the 12th general election clearly showed that voters in several states were unhappy with some of the existing leaders in the government and wanted a change.
He said many of the grassroots' concerns failed to reach the top leadership and the problems were left unattended.
"If such situation continues, Umno will suffer a slow death," he told a Press conference here yesterday.
Omar has been an Umno member for the last 31 years and the division chief since 1995.
"If the existing supreme council members are not playing their role well, then changes should take place. We need people who can advise the top leadership on what is happening on the ground," he said.
He agreed with a proposal by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the setting up of an independent presidential council which could advise the party president on party matters.
Omar proposed that changes be made to the quota requiring a candidate who wished to contest the party elections to have at least backing from 60 divisions before he/she could do so.
"We should revert back to the old times where only nominations from two divisions were required. By having 60 nominations, it does not mean a candidate can win. Ultimately, the people will make the final decision," he said, referring to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah's offer to contest the Umno presidency post, a move he claimed to bring about changes to make the party more relevant.
tunku : it's good to know that day by day more umno leaders coming out and voice out about the truth and what the grassroot members are hoping for.insyaallah, by the grace of Almighty there will be big changes in Umno.
Heated debates and lengthy discussions are expected at the Umno Supreme Council meeting later today at 3pm with party leaders trying to find solutions to many outstanding issues.
And it promises to be a long session with the meeting still on the way as at 6.40pm. Members of the council also expect a long night.
Among the top agenda for discussion is definitely the controversy surrounding the Terengganu menteri besar's post.
It is learnt that the party would now support the palace-backed Ahmad Said for the post following a meeting between Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the king, who is also the Sultan of Terengganu.
Ahmad was given his appointment letter by the Terengganu palace on Sunday and he started work on Tuesday.
However he has not been sworn-in yet. Sources say the swearing-in of Ahmad and his exco members will take place over the “next few days”. The 22 BN state representatives who had backed Idris Jusoh for the post are expected to leave Kuala Lumpur for Kuala Terengganu today.
They are now said to be willing to support Ahmad following the green light given by Abdullah.
Before his meeting with the king, Abdullah, also the Umno president, had insisted on the re-appointment of Idris to the post, calling the appointment of Ahmad as unconstitutional.
The Umno Supreme Council today is expected to rubberstamp Ahmad’s appointment. No action is also expected to be taken against Ahmad for disobeying the party by taking up the post.
As a compromise, it is learnt that Chukai state representative Muhamad Awang Tera will be made the deputy menteri besar, a newly created post aimed at healing the rift between the party and the palace.
Other unconfirmed reports also indicate that the palace had stripped the datukship granted to Idris and state Umno secretary Rosol Wahid. Palace officials could not be contacted for confirmation. However Rosol denied this.
Calls to defer party polls
The supreme council is also expected to look at proposals from Umno divisional leaders on the need for party polls to be deferred to next year, a move widely seen to protect Abdullah from facing challenges to his posts.
While the move has gained some support from the divisional leaders, several party leaders have called for the party not to postpone the elections, expected to be held this August.
This matter could lead in a lengthy debate in the council meeting.
Several top leaders are also believed not to be in favour of any postponements. Last night's party management meeting has also unanimously agreed with the elections to be held this year.
The supreme council will also be looking into a call made by former party vice-president Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah for an Extraordinary General Meeting to discuss the election results. Generally the party leaders have not been in favour of this proposal and it could be rejected today.
On a related matter, the party leaders are also expected to discuss a call made by the Cheras Umno division for the abolition of the quota system for nominations in order to contest the top posts.
The division wants the party to revert to its original principles whereby a candidate only required two nominations in order to contest the top two posts.
Presently a candidate needs 35 and 20 nominations to contest for the post of president or deputy president respectively. This strict ruling has hampered many aspiring candidates to offer a successful challenge for the top posts.
Vacancies for deputy ministers
The supreme council may also be looking into the three empty deputy ministers’ post available for the party in the government.
Two of the posts - deputy transport minister and deputy foreign minister - were rejected by Anifah Amin and Tengku Azlan Sultan Abu Bakar respectively, claiming that they were senior enough to be made full ministers.
Yesterday another Umno deputy minister, Ghapur Salleh quit his natural resources and environment deputy ministry post, saying that he wanted to “do my own thing”
Finally, the party leaders are also expected to discuss the post-mortem of the polls outcome which saw Umno and BN suffering terrible defeats.
The March 8 general election saw BN losing four states to the opposition as well as failing to retain Kelantan. In the federal level, BN also was denied its two-thirds majority.
Various quarters, from within BN and Umno, have asked Abdullah to take responsibility for the humiliating blow given by the voters.
Abdullah himself admitted that he was slow in implementing his projects and assured Malaysians that he would fulfill their demands.
Meanwhile, just as the supreme council meeting was underway, Tengku Razaleigh was also testing his own strength by meeting with more than 100 party members.
The meeting took place at his residence in Kuala Lumpur and among the division leaders who attended the meeting included former Information Minister Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir (from the Kulim/Bandar Baharu division), Ibrahim Saad (Batu Kawan) and Malek Hanafiah (Taiping).
Former Selangor menteri besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo has challenged his successor Khalid Ibrahim and his state executive councillors to declare their assets.
Mohd Khir was responding to Khalid’s recent revelation that there were reservations by some exco members on the matter.
"Before the elections, they (opposition parties) promised that they would declare their assets. I want them to declare now... if they cannot, that would be very unfortunate for the people of Selangor," said Mohd Khir during a phone interview today.
In an interview carried by Malaysiakini yesterday, Khalid said that he would "most likely" compel his exco members to declare their assets publicly.
However, he added that there were reservations by some exco members who do not want their shareholding information to be made public due to "family reasons".
Mohd Khir said that up until now, neither one of the new state governments had compelled their public office bearers to declare their assets, contrary to pledges made prior to the elections.
"All these opposition leaders should declare their assets and their debts. If they have settled their debts, tell us where the money came from," he said.
Two figures which Mohd Khir paid particular interest to, in regards to debts, was Khalid and newly appointed exco member Dr Hassan Ali.
Mohd Khir said previously, he and his exco members had to declare their assets to the Chief Secretary to the Government once every two years.
On Khalid’s proposal to implement a RM9 monthly levy for each foreign worker in Selangor, Mohd Khir said such a scheme would come under the purview of the federal government and not the state government.
"The first thing he needs to understand is the different powers of the federal and state governments. He should also thoroughly learn the state constitution and laws.
"He has shown signs of an inexperienced menteri besar who did not investigate matters thoroughly," said the former two-term Selangor chief executive.
Khalid, who has come under fire from various groups over the proposal, had said that the RM9 levy was for the purpose of weaning employers from foreign workers.
He also proposed that the collected levy, which is estimated to reach RM150 million annually, would be used for skills training programmes for youths as a means of tackling unemployment.
On Khalid’s announcement that the new state government would pursue its predecessors ‘zero-squatters’ policy, Mohd Khir said that it was due recognition of the previous government’s policy.
"Our zero squatters policy was the best in the world. Many foreign governments had sought my help in order to emulate a similar system in their respective countries.
"PKR on the hand were playing politics. It was only after they were in power they realised what we were doing in the past," he stressed.
In the case of Kampung Berembang, Khir said the state government had provided options for squatters to buy affordable and proper housing.
"Last time they were against the policy. Wan Azizah (PKR president) stayed there and gave tents to encourage the people to go against us. But now they seem to be emulating our policy," he added.
Asked about the Kampung Berembang issue, Khalid said the state government would "revisit" the issue, adding that he would try to accommodate both the wishes of the squatters as well as the developer.
Developers Perspektif Masa Sdn Bhd, in collaboration with state-owned Permodalan Nasional Selangor Bhd (PNSB), had sought to forcibly remove Kampung Berembang residents to make way for development projects last year.
Residents however are asserting claim to compensation as they have lived on the land since 1960s with consent from the Selangor government as evident in provision of electricity, water and other amenities by the authorities.
On veteran DAP opposition leader and Sungai Pinang assemblyperson Teng Chang Khim, Mohd Khir agreed that he had been sidelined in the appointment of exco positions.
"Teng is very senior and I respect him because he was a very effective opposition leader with lots of experience. In contrast, Ean Yong (Hian Wah) is only 29 years old. Why was he (Teng) sidelined?" asked Mohd Khir.
tunku : it has been easier for them when they were the opposition, now as the government walk the talk.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
After a four-hour marathon Supreme Council meeting, Umno today decided that it could not defer its party polls and at the same time give its support for Kijal state representative Ahmad Said as the new Terengganu menteri besar.
Umno president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today said the party had asked former Terengganu menteri besar Idris Jusoh to accept the Terengganu palace’s decision to appoint Ahmad as the menteri besar.
Idris was present at the council meeting in his capacity as the Terengganu party chief.
According to a source, none of the council members objected to the appointment of Ahmad, who took office on Tuesday.
Abdullah also revealed that the party polls would be held during this year’s annual general assembly which begins on Dec 16 to 20 this year, killing off all earlier speculations that it could be deferred.
Branch level elections will start from July 17.
Abdullah, also the prime minister, said that he had not “lost face” following the decision to back out from supporting Idris.
He also said that a proposal to hold extraordinary general meeting was not dicussed at all.
The community residents' association of Selangor and Federal Territory (Permas) is disappointed with Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim’s decision to continue with the ‘zero squatters’ policy.
In a statement yesterday, Permas president Tan Jo Hann said Khalid’s "general sweeping statements" about squatters were uncalled for.
"We are very disappointed that he has made such a serious pronouncement as the Selangor MB without sufficient consultation and discussions with the wider community of residents’ groups, civil society organisations and especially the urban poor settlements themselves about their housing and land issues," he said.
In an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini two days ago, Khalid said the new state government will not scrap the policy initiated by the previous government.
"You can't allow people to become squatters in a state. There's the balance that we have to abide by. We want to accommodate the wishes of the squatters as much as we have to take into account the costs (incurred by) the developer," said the menteri besar.
Tan said the statements have a ‘chilling effect’ and are similar to the 'pro-developer' sentiments often expressed by former menteri besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.
"There are actually many different cases of housing and land where the developers have acted very irresponsibly and even criminally abusing state facilities, and ignoring basic human decency and rights of the people in their endeavour to pursue profits," he said.
Tan revealed that he has communicated with Khalid’s political secretary Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.
"We have spoken and Permas plans to mobilise 1,000 residents to gather outside the MB’s office next week to submit a memorandum.
"Nik Nazmi also said that he will look into organising a meeting between Permas and Khalid. We are quite optimistic about collaborating with the new state government," he said.
Proper methods will be used
Contacted latter, Nik Nazmi said he had explained to Tan that certain statements made by Khalid could have triggered the concern of some quarters but stressed that the interview must be read in its entirety.
"People became overexcited over several statements made but the interview must be seen in its totality and you can see that Khalid’s anti-squatter policy will be executed properly.
"He (Khalid) has said he will reduce squatters through a proper method and he would not resort to the form of implementation done by the previous government," he added.
Nik Nazmi also said that a date will be decided soon for a meeting between Permas and the menteri besar.
On the planned gathering, he said: "Even if it is a protest, they are still free to gather outside the office but I am sure we will find room to discuss this matter."
In the previous state administration, several squatter settlements were controversially demolished with the residents forcefully evicted in Kampung Berembang in Ampang and Taman Rimba Jaya in Shah Alam.
tunku : it's always easy to talk when you're outside the government, not they are doing the same thing.what about selangor state exco, they asked for more time to declare their assets because of personal/family matters.what a big joke.
PETALING JAYA: The Umno management committee has unanimously agreed that the party should proceed with its elections this year.
Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said all members of the panel chaired by deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak were of the view that the polls should not be postponed under the pretext of reviving the party after its poor showing in the March 8 general election.
"We should have elections because the democratic process has to continue. There is nothing to be afraid of."
"We should take the bull by the horns," Muhyiddin told reporters at the Vietnam-Malaysia Economic Conference at the Sunway Lagoon Resort Thursday.
tunku : yes, we should take the bull by the horns, not hiding away.
KOTA BARU: PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa has raised the prospect that some MPs would file a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when Parliament commences.
Husam said many MPs were unhappy with what was going on in the Government, especially after Barisan Nasional suffered stunning losses in the recent 12th general election.
He said such a prospect was possible especially when it was widely perceived that the country’s leadership was weak.
This was why the party was pressing for a leadership change in the country, said Husam, a state executive councillor.
Speaking at a mammoth ceramah held at the state PAS religious centre here, Husam said PAS was ready to capitalise on its new political gains, in the context that many Chinese and Indians now supported the Islamist party.
This was evident in Kedah, Perak and Selangor, he said, adding that the Indians even marched in Perak to demand that the new Mentri Besar be from PAS.
After an idea mooted 20 years ago by spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat that the party should break the backbone of Umno by winning over non-Muslims, Husam said PAS would now ensure such support, which was previously difficult to attain, continued to be cherished.
“We will win over the non-Muslims with our motto that Islam is for all.
“Although they may not subscribe to our ideology, we are convinced that we will win their support, as we are all fighting for the same principles, such as anti-corruption and justice,” he said.
Due to the inroads made in west coast states, Husam expected the new state religious council president for Penang to come from PAS.
Husam also said that PAS could win over Terengganu if the current constitutional impasse dragged on until the state was forced to hold another round of state elections next month.
tunku : well husam, don't be over excited. time will come and you will know.as for pak lah, i agree with you that he is weak leader but i don't think that he will be force to leave because of the opposition no-confidence motion.it's only the umno and bn can do it and they will not support the opposition in this case and with 82 mp's you can't throw him out.
KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Datuk Ghapur Salleh has quit his post eight days after accepting his appointment by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Ghapur, the Kalabakan MP and Kalabakan Umno chief, told The Star at about 7.30pm yesterday that he had sent his resignation letter to the Prime Minister’s office.
However, he said he remained Kalabakan Umno division chief and dismissed any talk of him quitting the party or joining the Opposition.
“I’m not interested in any government post. I just want to do my own thing.
“I am still a division chief and I do not want people to speculate as my commitment is to Umno and its leadership under Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi,” he said.
Asked why he decided to relinquish the post only now, Ghapur said: “I don’t want to be tied up with government duties.”
“I’m leaving the matter in the hands of the Prime Minister,” said Ghapur, a former Sabah deputy chief minister who quit the post in 1997 but returned to the state Cabinet several years later.
Ghapur, 64, is the second Sabah MP to turn down a Federal deputy minister’s post following the March 8 general election.
Soon after Abdullah named his Cabinet on March 18, Kimanis MP Datuk Anifah Aman declined to take up the post of Deputy Transport Minister.
Anifah’s elder brother, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman, later said Anifah declined the deputy minister’s post because he had served in that capacity for two terms.
Anifah had told him that it was time for him (Anifah) to make way for others, Musa said.
tunku : another deputy quitting.what's going on.first time in history so many deputies quitting. i just don;t understand ghapur said that he's quitting because he wants to do his own thing and not government job.why wait till you already accepted the post.by right you should decline it when you were offered like what tengku azlan and anifah did.pak lah what's happening to your "choices"? by right before appointing them ,evrything should be cleared.may be ghafur rejected because he needs to declare his assets????
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is learnt to be having an urgent meeting with his candidate for the Terengganu menteri besar post, Idris Jusoh at Sri Perdana in Putrajaya now.
Earlier the premier had an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, who is also Sultan of Terengganu, over the controversy surrounding the appointment of Terengganu menteri besar.
It is reliably learnt that after the audience with the sultan, Abdullah had agreed with the appointment of the palace-backed Ahmad Said for the post in place of Idris, the incumbent MB.
The hour-long meeting between Abdullah and Idris was later confirmed Terengganu state Umno secretary Rosol Wahid, who however was unable to give any other information.
Earlier Abdullah was insistent that Idris was made the menteri besar, calling the appointment of Ahmad unconstitutional.
Ahmad, who received his appointment letter from the Terengganu palace on Sunday, assumed office yesterday although he has not been sworn in yet.
He also faces the sack from Umno for assuming the post against the wishes of the party.
Compromise candidate rejected
Both Abdullah and Idris did not hold a press conference today on the matter. Officials close to them are also refusing to confirm anything.
However unconfirmed reports, as reported by popular bloggers, suggest that the sultan asked Abdullah questions pertaining to the distribution of the Petronas’ RM1 billion wang ehsan through Idris for development in the state.
The sultan is also said to have asked why the state remained poor despite the wang ehsan.
Other sources also said that Abdullah apologised for the controversy created over the appointment of menteri besar. Apparently Abdullah told the sultan that there was no intention to disparage or humiliate the royal palace.
It is also believed that Abdullah also offered a neutral candidate - Chukai state representative Mohamed Awang Tera - to solve the problem, a compromise which was rejected by the sultan who insisted on Ahmad’s appointment.
tunku : i hope that we can get a confirm news on what Tuanku Mizan asked pak lah regarding the RM1 billion.this is going to be interesting.another blow o pak lah and cronies.
The High Court here has ordered Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin to pay RM2 million to Universiti Utara Malaysia vice-chancellor Tan Sri Dr Nordin Kardi in general damages over a libellous article he posted on his website 'Malaysia Today' two years ago. In the landmark case against a blogger, Deputy High Court Registrar Priscilla Gengadaran also ordered Raja Petra to pay RM2 million, also in general damages, to the university over the article which appeared in his website on Dec 16, 2006.
Nordin, the first plaintiff and UUM, the second plaintiff, filed the suit against Raja Petra, the first defendant and three others - Parti Keadilan Rakyat (second defendant), chief editor of the opposition party's organ, Suara Keadilan (third defendant) and editor of the bulletin (fourth defendant) - on Feb 25 last year.
In his statement of claim against the four, Nordin and UUM had claimed that Raja Petra and the three defendants had published the libellous article against him and the university with the intention to tarnish his and UUM's good name and integrity.
The article, 'Dato' Dr Nordin Kardi Ciplak Karya Saya? Mohon Penjelasan...(Dato' Dr Nordin Kardi plagiarises my works? Please Explain..) was first published in Raja Petra's website, 'Malaysia Today', on Dec 16, 2006.
The article, authored by one Muhtar Suhaili, had claimed his works, 'Mahasiswa dan Tanggujawab Menguruskan Kejayaan (Graduands and the Responsibility in Managing Success) was plagiarised by a person which had used the name Dato' Nordin Kardi.
As it turned out, Raja Petra had picked up the article which was posted on a website, http://muhtarsuhaili.tripod.com The article was subsequently published in 'Suara Keadilan' on Dec 27, 2006.
In her judgement, Priscilla also ordered the Raja Petra to pay RM2 million to UUM. She also ordered the chief editor and editor of 'Suara Keadilan', to each pay Nordin RM1 million for publishing the article. She also ordered the third and fourth defendants to each pay UUM RM500,000 over the article.
Priscilla issued her judgment after Raja Petra, the third and fourth defendants did not defend themselves and had also failed to appoint counsel over the defamation suit. Nordin and UUM were represented by Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz.
Priscilla, however, has yet to fix a trial date for PKR, which was represented by R. Sivarasa.
Meanwhile, Nordin described the judgment as a landmark decision against cyber misconduct. "I hope others who might have been defamed by cyber misconduct would consider legal action against the wrongdoers. I also hope the High court decision would serve as a deterent against any attempt to invade the integrity of an individual or an institution," he said.
tunku : some people think they can put up any news they like. i wonder if rpk would set up a donation fund to pay off RM2million.
KUALA LUMPUR: Umno should seek the views of its grassroots leaders before deciding whether to postpone party elections, said supreme council member Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo.
He said most of the time, decisions were made at the top without getting feedback from the ground.
He said the general election results showed how important it was to take into these opinions into account.
"We need to study this -- whether members want change. We want to know what exactly is happening on the ground. For me the best way is to go back to the branch chiefs and ask them what they think," he said when contacted on Wednesday.
Dr Khir said going to just the state liaison or divisions chiefs to get their views was not adequate as this might not reflect the exact sentiment on the ground.
"We must go back to the people and take it to them. Our weakness has often been our top-down approach. We need to get a broader perspective and seek the perception of the grassroots leaders on the ground who have been working really hard for the party.
"If their views are sought, then the people on the ground too will feel appreciated," he added.
On Tuesday, Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said all state liaison committees had met president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi over the weekend and agreed to call for the postponement of party elections until next year.
No need to defer Umno elections, says NS Mentri Besar
SEREMBAN: The Umno polls scheduled for August need not be deferred, said party supreme council member Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
Mohamad, who is also Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar, said it made no sense to postpone the party election as it would still need to be held later.
"Why defer the elections? If you defer it now, wouldn't you need to hold it at a later date?" he asked.
Stressing that it was his personal view, Mohamad said if the party was facing problems, there was no reason to run away from them.
"I am one who believes we should never run away from problems. If we really have problems, we should solve them in the true Umno spirit.
"The last thing we should do is sweep whatever problems there may be under the carpet," he told reporters after chairing the exco meeting at Wisma Negri near here.
Mohamad was commenting on a statement by party information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib on Tuesday that the party election may be postponed to next year.
Mohamad said if it was up to party members to decide if the party should remain relevant.
"Umno members must be rational and unite for the sake of the party. If you have personal agendas, then there are bound to be problems," he said.
Mohamad said if the polls were deferred, it could cause more unnecessary problems for the party
Puteri Umno supports party election postponement...then retracts it four hours later
Four hours after supporting calls for the Umno elections to be postponed to next year, Puteri Umno made a complete u-turn and called for party polls to be held as scheduled.
Reporters who covered the Malaysia Career and Training Fair Press conference in the morning had asked Puteri Umno chief Datuk Noraini Ahmad whether the movement agreed with calls within Umno for a postponement of the election.
“Yes, because Umno needs time to address both it’s internal and external problems first. These problems can be resolved but not necessarily through party elections,” the Deputy Minister of Human Resources said . “The party needs time to adjust, especially since the dust from general election had not really settled. There is no urgency. Once we are back to normal, then only we should hold the party elections.”
However, four hours later, Noraini not only retracted her statement but called for party elections to be held as scheduled.
“Although the party has until June next year to hold the elections, Puteri Umno is of the opinion that party elections should be held by this year,” she said in a faxed statement.
Noraini said if at all the elections could not be held by August as originally scheduled, then it should take place by December at the latest.
Throughout the afternoon, Noraini did not answer calls to her handphone but later sent a text message to a Berita Harian reporter explaining the sudden change of stand.
“No need to prolong. Better to hold the meeting early. Please look at the constitution,” the text message read.
tunku : that's the problem, everytime decision are made just by the top leaders without consulting the members.for the first time negri's mb talk with some sense.i wonder why the complete u-turn by noraini?anyway it was a good u-turn.