Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Khir Toyo: Blame the keris, not the broom

Final part of Khir's interview with Malaysiakini.

The media reported that one of the factors that caused Selangor Umno to lose the state in the general election was the ‘broom incident’. What are your comments?

I would like to explain. When the people came to me and complained about the poor performance of civil servants and (this was) highlighted in the media, I felt restless and worried. As the representative of the people, I will of course take action. We reacted by creating a star rating system. If you get five stars, you’ll be rewarded, but if you don’t get a single star, you’ll be warned.
We did this for five years and there were still no improvements. Then we ‘froze’ them at the headquarters and yet saw no improvements. We raised salaries and still there was no improvement. We took disciplinary action, and still no improvement.
As a leader, I had to solve this matter. I discussed it with my officers and some suggested that we give them a pair of (cheap) slippers, some suggested making them wear torn clothes, and some suggested that we give them brooms. Maybe the mistake was not to (gift-)wrap the broom, but this was not my doing. It was my officers who prepared everything, I was just there to hand over the ‘gift’.

But do you agree that this incident contributed to the defeat of BN in Selangor?
I disagree. Take a look at other states, they did not have similar incidents, yet they lost. This is all part of the denial syndrome that we are suffering from and this is a huge problem for the party. We always say we are strong but actually we are not. We lost five states, and yet we say we are strong.

You mean that there were national factors...

70 percent of (the reasons for the electoral losses) came from national factors.

The defeat for BN has also been linked to your own arrogance, for example, in pursuing your ‘zero-opposition’ policy.
As a general of an army, I can’t be telling my army that we are losing. Is it proper to tell your army that some will die in the battle? When Napolean went to battle and knew that he was going to lose, he told his army that they would win. I cannot send out negative messages that will demoralise my soldiers.

The keris issue has also been mentioned as a factor for BN’s heavy losses.
This is a matter of perception. It depends on how we manage perceptions. Maybe it was a factor. We must admit our mistakes. If we don’t, the rakyat will call us arrogant.

But as far as Umno’s history is concerned, the keris was never used to rally Malay support. How did it suddenly become a rallying symbol for Umno?
I can’t answer this because I was never involved.

Let’s analyse it anyway. It is not just Umno Youth that uses the keris as a ceremonial item, but other Umno wings as well.
The keris perhaps is a symbol of power, a symbol of supremacy, but for the Malays it means nothing. Maybe it’s different for the Chinese (which is why they look at it differently).

But it was never seen as symbol of supremacy for Umno before...
This is because it was never politicised by Umno before.

So do you agree that the keris culture should be eliminated?
Yes, why not? If it’s negative, we should stop using it. We have to admit our mistakes. Admitting mistakes is a courageous thing to do.

What about your preparations to contest the Umno Youth leadership?
The response so far has been good. Though some might say I am an ‘outside’ contestant, I disagree. I was once an Umno Youth divisional head, I was once the Umno Youth national executive councillor. Any contestant who comes in late must work hard. But I feel...Insyallah (I can do it) because I have been thoroughly schooled politics-wise. I can offer experience. I have completed the full political cycle; not many politicians can parallel my situation.
I have a new motto for Umno Youth: ‘Youth as the voice of the people and towards building the perseverance of the Malays’.

Meaning that you want to bring Umno back to its old idealism?
We have to become the voice of the people, and not the government.

But the mechanism in Umno itself renders it impossible to speak freely, even Umno members itself cannot speak...
I am doing it.

Maybe one or two people...

I am talking and I will continue to do that. I believe that the voice of the youth is the voice of the rakyat.

But the culture in Umno itself? How do you cultivate courage in the party?
We must be brave to express the truth. We cannot be controlled. If we are controlled in an independent nation, it means that we are not free. Expressing ideas cannot be seen as a bad thing. As a supreme council member entrusted to be the voice of the people, I will continue to speak up. I might not be able to be direct in my expression. I am a local and as a local I am raised to be polite so I will say something like ‘exit plan’.

To some, ‘exit plan’ is a euphemism for calling for the Umno president to step down. Do you have any expectations when it comes to this ‘exit plan’?
I can’t say I have any expectations. The president has the right to construct his own exit plan and according to his own timeframe, but transition of power is compulsory. In any leadership there must be transition of power. Sooner or later it will have to happen. If it’s better to have it earlier, then do it. If you think it takes time, then you must explain the reasons.

But if Abdullah Ahmad Badawi an introduce measures to reform the system and his popularity increases as a result, would the exit plan still be necessary?
This is if we look at it from a long-term perspective. That is why, in my blog, I have stated that changing the president or the prime minister will not solve everything. The most important thing is reform of the system - reforming economic, education and inter-religion policies and reform the party.
What is most important is that these measures will make Umno a sanctuary that the rakyat can rely on. If this does not happen, people will leave Umno, members will jump off. Maybe not the leaders but the members will.
The government must introduce real reform and a timeframe for implementation. Each leader in Umno who contests for posts must have some sort of plan or idealism. The rakyat can choose which plan they feel will benefit them the most, but we are not seeing this right now.
If this is done, there will not be a crisis of confidence in relation to the government. If this is done, even the (BN) component parties will lean on Umno.

Only Three Questions Asked During 90-minute Question-and-answer Session In Dewan Rakyat

KUALA LUMPUR. April 30 (Bernama) -- The question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat which began its sitting Wednesday was disrupted for almost an hour when several members of parliament, particularly from the opposition, raised questions on the meeting procedures.
Following the interruption, the first question on the Order Paper was only asked after 20 minutes the House was in session to be answered by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
However, several members of parliament, especially Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) and Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) continued to dispute the meeting procedures, prompting Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia to repeatedly ask them to allow the question-and-answer session to go on.
After nearly an hour later, only then the House could proceed with the second question, with Pandikar Amin reminding members of parliament on the importance of the session for the people's interests.
Only three questions were answered when the one-and-a-half-hour question-and-answer session ended at 11.30am.
The session began with Pandikar Amin proclaiming Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (PKR-Permatang Pauh) as the opposition leader.
He said Dr Wan Azizah was unanimously nominated for the post by Pakatan Rakyat.
After the proclammation, wheelchair-bound Karpal Singh continued to dispute procedures governing the swearing-in of members of parliament on Monday.
Pandikar Amin said the swearing-in was over and all members of parliament who were sworn in had been accepted as members of parliament.
"I've made the decision and I think the decision is final. It's legal and that's my decision," said Pandikar Amin.
Despite being constantly interrupted by members of parliament, Pandikar Amin, who was sworn in as the Dewan Rakyat speaker on Monday, appealed to them to cooperate for the sitting to proceed smoothly.
tunku : how to debate on important issue when stupid issue like the procedures of swearing-in being debate continuously for 2 days from this karpal singh. lucky he did not debate on why he can't bring his dog to parliament.

Parliament proceedings disrupted

KUALA LUMPUR: Proceedings at the 12th Parliament started 30mins late Wednesday morning as Opposition MPs raised several procedural issues, with led to some name-calling between representatives.
First Gombak MP Azmin Ali asked about why Barisan Nasional representatives were allowed seven questions, and Pakatan Rakyat only three.
Based on the number of backbenchers each coalition had, he said Pakatan should have been allowed six questions.
Then Bukit Gelugor Karpal Singh brought up the issue of MPs not following the proper process in oath-taking and also questioned the seating arrangements.
This led to an altercation between Karpal and Kinabatangan MP Bung Mokhtar, who called the DAP stalwart "Big Foot."
Karpal then called the Barisan man "Big Monkey."
This was the first time Parliament proceedings had been telecast live.

tunku : the show begins.....animal show??

IPF president and ex-MIC man Pandithan dies

PETALING JAYA: Indian Progressive Front (IPF) president Tan Sri M.G. Pandithan, formerly the vice-president of MIC, passed away at KL General Hospital at 8.20am on Wednesday.
He’d been admitted following a long illness. His body will be taken back to his home in Serdang at noon today.
Pandithan was also formerly Member of Parliament for Tapah and parliamentary secretary to the Trade and Industry Ministry.
He leaves behind his wife Jayashree and 21-year-old son Jeyan, who’s studying medicine in the Ukraine.
The funeral will take place on Thursday at 3pm at a venue to be determined.
Once considered a protege of MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu until they had a falling out in 1988, after which Pandithan was sacked from the party.
The two would remain political enemies for nearly 20 years, but made up last year during the Ijok by-election.
From hospital bed last week, Pandithan named his wife Jayashree as his successor in IPF, declaring her as acting president. This led to some dissent within the party.

tunku : our deepest condolence to mr pandithan's family.

All BN Elected Reps Will Be Loyal To Party - Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 (Bernama) -- All Barisan Nasional (BN) elected representatives are loyal to the party and there is no proof to suggest that they will join the opposition parties, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.
Abdullah, who is also the BN chairman, said the loyalty assurance among the BN elected representatives -- whether they are members of parliament or state legislative assembly members -- was given by the heads of BN component parties at the BN Supreme Council meeting which he chaired Tuesday night.
"They are loyal to the BN and there is no proof (that they will) join the opposition," he told reporters after the two-hour meeting at the Menara Dato' Onn here.
Abdullah said BN would however, continue to monitor the elected representatives to ensure they did not hop to other parties.
On the statement by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that he had discussed with several BN elected representatives for them to join Pakatan Rakyat, he said it was not true.
"That was what he claimed. Let him claim what he wants to claim," he added.
Abdullah said all BN component parties also agreed that BN elected representatives needed to work hard to get bigger support from the people than what was demonstrated in the recent general election.
He said the BN Supreme Council Tuesday night also agreed that all BN elected representatives, especially in states controlled by the opposition coalition, to represent the interests of all races.
"The party's interest is not just for the party alone, but for the struggle for the people at large," he said, referring, for instance, to the BN representatives in Penang which is now under Pakatan Rakyat.
"Today's meeting also resolved to fulfil all the promises made in the BN election manifesto, and this to be given serious attention by the committee doing the Ninth Malaysia Plan mid-term review."
Abdullah said among the areas of focus was rural development in Sabah and Sarawak and the living conditions of the plantation folk.
He said there were still many areas in Sabah and Sarawak without basic facilities like water and electricity supply and schools.
The prime minister said BN would also be holding a seminar to draw up plans for the future, taking into consideration the changes taking place now and the aspirations of the younger generation for change.

tunku : how sure you are that they will remain loyal and what proof you have that they won't jump the ship? both you and anwar are acting in a soap opera.resign now pak lah before you make thing worsen for umno and bn.

Abdullah Tells BN Component Parties To Stop Quarrelling

KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 (Bernama) -- Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Tuesday night ordered all BN component parties at all levels to stop quarrelling and the finger-pointing.
Speaking to reporters after chairing the BN Supreme Council meeting at the Menara Dato' Onn here, the prime minister said the BN secertariat would issue a circular on the matter to all component parties, as was agreed during the meeting Tuesday night.
He said disciplinary actions awaited those who failed to abide by the instruction.
"This is a directive, not an advice. We issue the directive, therefore it must be abided by. If we've not issued the directive, then that's another matter," he said.
He was asked to comment on BN's unity following open quarrels among BN component parties, the latest being between MIC President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo.

tunku : i guess khir toyo was just replying to the accusation that samy vellu made against him was samy like pak lah in denial syndrome.blame everybody but yourself.this is not time to take disciplinary action but to unite but before that pak lah, samy vellu and co should resign first.

Quit as Gerakan adviser, Tan Kee Kwong tells Keng Yaik

Kuala Lumpur Gerakan chairman Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong has urged Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik to quit his post as the party adviser because his frequent interference in party affairs has done a lot of damage to the party.
Tan, who is also a Gerakan Central Committee member, said Lim should stop meddling in party affairs and instead retire and devote more time to his family.
“By giving unsolicited advice publicly over party matters over the past few months, Lim has done a lot of damage to the party’s image,” he told a media conference here today.
Commenting on Gerakan former deputy secretary-general Datuk Lee Kah Choon’s appointment as a director of Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and executive chairman of InvestPenang, Tan said he regretted that a capable leader like Lee had to quit the party as a result of Dr Lim’s actions.
“Lee Kah Choon accepted the two posts for the benefit of the people of Penang. These appointments are non political, and his work would be no different from that of a civil servant who is apolitical,” he added.
He said Lee set an excellent example of how people with differing political views can work together for the benefit of the people.
Tan also announced that he will not stand for the Kuala Lumpur Gerakan dan Segambut division chairmen posts in the party election this August.
Cheras Gerakan chairman Dr Hsu Dar Ren, Setiawangsa chairman Li Tiam Chai and Federal Territory assistant secretary K.K. Supramaniam were also present at the press conference.

tunku : i still remember keng yaik said just before or just after he retires that he don’t want to be another Dr Mahathir.When he steps down he will shut now it's proven that he too 'cakap tak serupa bikin' coming back to gerakan, i was informed by few gerakan supporters that many of them are leaving the party to join dap. gerakan will show it true colours in near future(not all of them).they knows that their future is very blur at this point of time and might crossover somewhere.

Syed Ali Alhabshee Quits Post As Cheras BN Deputy Chief

KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 (Bernama) -- Cheras Umno division chief Senator Datuk Wira Syed Ali Alhabshee Tuesday resigned as the BN deputy chairman for the Cheras parliamentary constituency, effective immediately.
Deputy Cheras Umno chief Datuk Mahadi Mahadi Shukor told a news conference that Syed Ali's letter of resignations would be handed over officially to BN chairman for the Cheras parliamentary area Tan Sri Yee Hock Seng Wednesday.
"His resignation was a manifestation of his sense of responsibility for the BN's defeat in Cheras in the 12th general election even though Cheras is not an Umno seat," Mahdi said.
Syed Ali, 46, has held the post since 10 years ago.
He was not present at the news conference.

tunku : it's another sign/message to pak lah and others who are responsible, please quit.

Latest from Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

BN's running out of time with Lee's defection: Dr M

Dr Mahathir Mohamad may not be in the country but he is nevertheless following the latest political developments in Malaysia very closely.
In a letter written sent to Malaysiakini today, the former prime minister said that the recent decision by Gerakan leader Lee Kah Choon to take up key posts in the DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat government shows that “the window of opportunity” is closing fast for the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.
“Unless drastic actions are taken now, there would be no time to rehabilitate BN and Umno, and indeed all the other BN component parties, for the next election,” said Mahathir, who is in United Kingdom over the past one week.
“To lose once is bad but to lose a second time in Malaysian election is an unmitigated disaster.”
Lee, a former Gerakan vice-president, raised heckles from BN leaders after he accepted the offer from Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng to become a director of the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and InvestPenang.
In the midst of the furore, Lee quit the party.
Mahathir considered the defection as a disturbing sign for BN.
“Supposing the opposition are smart enough to provide good government, to look after the interests of the ordinary people, to lead a spartan life like not flying in chartered planes when going to Kuala Lumpur or taking excos and divisional heads on jaunts to foreign countries, then those people who voted for the opposition out of anger against the BN in 2008, would transfer their loyalty permanently to the opposition.
“When that happens BN, Umno and other component parties can forget about recapturing the states lost to the opposition. Their turncoat members (saboteurs as they are classified by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) will remain turncoats and will actively work against the BN at the next election.”
For Mahathir, there’s only one solution. He has repeatedly said so, including last week’s ‘Hard Talk’ interview on BBC - stop supporting his successor-turned-nemesis Prime Minister Abdullah.
The choice is yours, he told BN leaders. Mahathir is expected to return to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
The following is his letter in full:

The recent decision of a senior Gerakan leader to take a job under the DAP government of Penang should not be taken lightly by the Barisan Nasional if it wishes to survive and regain support of its members and supporters.
The Gerakan leader may be motivated by a genuine desire to work for the good of Penang and Malaysia. But it may also be because loyalty to BN is now based on personal gains or fear of punishment of some kind.
This is especially so among the leaders. There is no genuine love for the objectives said to be the raison d'etre for the party's existence. They are all fighting to get a piece of the cake that the party would be able to distribute when it wins elections. They could become ministers or menteri besars or deputy ministers or speakers. They could get contracts or licenses, APs (approved permits), etc.
When the party loses these will not be forthcoming. The reason for supporting the party would disappear.
The rank-and-file on the other hand stands to gain nothing, win or lose. The party is not any longer for the general good of the country but only for lining the pockets of the leaders. So why should the ordinary members help the leaders to line their pockets.
The party can keep on making promises but the members know that these promises are empty.
Supposing the opposition are smart enough to provide good government, to look after the interests of the ordinary people, to lead a spartan life like not flying in chartered planes when going to Kuala Lumpur or taking excos and divisional heads on jaunts to foreign countries, then those people who voted for the opposition out of anger against the BN in 2008, would transfer their loyalty permanently to the opposition.
When that happens BN, Umno and other component parties can forget about recapturing the states lost to the opposition. Their turncoat members (saboteurs as they are classified by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) will remain turncoats and will actively work against the BN at the next election. To lose once is bad but to lose a second time in Malaysian election is an unmitigated disaster.
The window of opportunity will close pretty soon. Unless drastic actions are taken now, there would be no time to rehabilitate BN and Umno, and indeed all the other BN component parties, for the next election. When this happens and BN is totally defeated, the leaders who mismanaged the BN will go down in history as betrayers of the parties which had so successfully defeated the Malayan Union, gained independence for the country and developed it to what it is today.
The leaders still have a choice. Continue supporting a person under whom the BN and its component parties were defeated or stop being self-serving and return to the true national struggle. You may gain something for yourself personally today but your children and grand children will pay a terrible price.
The choice is yours.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Samy says it was all Khir's fault

Former Selangor menteri besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo today came under fire from MIC for saying that the party president S Samy Vellu had asked for the demolition of the Kampung Rimba Jaya Hindu temple near Shah Alam.
“I am surprised by his statement. How can I tell him to demolish a temple which was already demolished?” asked Samy Vellu today.
“It was under his order that more than 500 enforcement personnel from the local authorities from various districts came to demolish just one temple.
“If all local authorities were to send enforcement officers to Shah Alam, who could have given such a directive except him,” he told Malaysiakini.
Samy Vellu said that he met Khir at the Blue Wave hotel in Shah Alam on Oct 30 last year, asking for the demolition to be stopped but the former Selangor MB refused to budge.
“Even when the prime minister requested him to give time to shift the temple to a new location, he refused to budge.
“That indicated his determination to demolish the temple,” added Samy Vellu.
“I told him ‘You are destroying not only your political career, you will also destroy my political career if you continue with the demolition’.
“He just said ‘no, no such thing’,” said Samy Vellu.

Saravanan’s open challenge
Later in a separate statement, Samy Vellu said that Khir had to take the major blame for having chased away the Indian voters to the opposition in the state.
"My request to him is stop talking about all this and let us rebuild the Barisan Nasional and the component parties to get back the support of the people," he said.
He said he had great respect for Khir's ability as a leader who had really turned around Selangor as a major developing state.
MIC information chief M Saravanan was also shocked by Khir’s remarks against the party president.
“This is news to all of us. I am shock by Khir’s remarks,” he told Malaysiakini.
“I issue an open challenge to him to face us and tell us this at our face,” he said.
Saravanan, also the Federal Territories deputy minister, said that he was with Samy Vellu when the latter met Khir at the Blue Wave hotel and witnessed Khir’s refusal to stop the demolition.
“How can he say now that he had stopped the demolition on Oct 30 and only proceeded to tear down the temple after receiving a call on Nov 15?”
“For us, he is clearly not telling the truth. We tried hard to save the temple but he was in no mood to listen to us. We told him that he would be angering the Indian community by doing so but he paid no heed,” he added.
Voters rejected BN
Saravanan said that the demolition of the Shah Alam temple was among the main reason BN lost control of Selangor in the March 8 general election.
“He was arrogant and didn’t bother to listen to anyone. Now he is trying to pass off as a leader who did all the right things for his people.”
The FT MIC chief also said that on Oct 30 Khir had issued a press statement that the temple was being demolished due to a court order.
“Why didn’t he tell about Samy Vellu’s involvement then? As it is he has already ordered for the demolition of the temple right before Deepavali and is now trying to blame others when he should be blaming himself,” said Saravanan.
The temple demolition incident has been cited by both opposition and BN members as a key factor in influencing the outcome of the March 8 polls.
BN and Umno took the brunt of voter anger over this and other issues, resulting in the state government falling into opposition hands for the first time in electoral history. Khir then resigned as Selangor Umno head, and is now leader of the opposition in the state legislature.

tunku : first samy attacked, then khir attacked back now samy attacked again with his information chief on his side.well khir, what say you.

Umno Constitution Allows Egms, Says Ku Li

KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 (Bernama) -- The Umno constitution allows the party's divisions to hold extraordinary general meetings (EGMs), Gua Musang Umno Division chief Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said today.
"The party's constitution allows it. I'm not saying it is against the spirit but if you want to have an extraordinary general meeting, there's nothing to stop it. It's allowed by the constitution.
"But whether they can finally get as many (divisions) to hold similar meetings so that you can have an extraordinary general assembly is another matter," he told newsmen after attending the official opening of the first session of the 12th Parliament, here today.
Tengku Razaleigh, who is MP for Gua Musang, was commenting on Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad's statement yesterday for all party divisions to stop holding EGMs to discuss the party's problems and to call for leaders to step down.
Tengku Razaleigh said this would only encourage people to express their opinions in unlawful ways. "The leaders are summoning people to have meetings with them. Why can't they encourage people to have meetings according to procedures set by the party constitution?" he said.
Former Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad told Bernama that holding an EGM now was a waste of time as the party general assembly would be held in December.
"There is not much time left to do it (hold an EGM). If they want to, let's say, propose a motion to abolish the quota system, they need half of the total number of divisions to hold EGMs. Only then can we hold a special general meeting.
"But branch level meetings are going to start soon, in July, so there is not enough time to do it, even if it's allowed by the constitution," he said.
Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said he disagreed with the Umno president that no EGMs be held because it was the right of the party members.
"I feel it was not proper for the (party) president to have stated that EGMs were not necessary because it is the right of members at the divisional level to decide whether an EGM is necesary or not," he said when met at the Parliament lobby.
Mukhriz said no division should be prohibited from holding an EGM.
He said he hoped that Umno branch heads would be given the opportunity to express their feelings through a question-and-answer session at a meeting to be held with the party president soon.
"I feel it would be meaningless if these leaders coming from around the country to meet the president are not given the opportunity to speak. Let them convey their message and feelings directly to the president," he said.

tunku : pak lah has no right to tell the umno members not to hold egm but at the same time time is running out for the divisions to hold their egm and they need to speed up their pace if they want it.

'Samy Vellu ordered temple demolition'

Since last October, Dr Mohd Khir Toyo has been tagged as the chief culprit behind the controversial demolition of the Kampung Rimba Jaya Hindu temple near Shah Alam - he now claims that MIC president S Samy Vellu had instructed him to do so.
“Samy Vellu called me on the night of Nov 15 and told me that Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) people had infiltrated the temple and that it must be demolished that night itself,” alleged Khir, who was Selangor menteri besar at the time.
In an interview, Khir Toyo also denied that the temple had been pulled down two days before Deepavali, saying the exercise had been carried out a week after the significant Hindu festival.
Furthermore, he said an agreement had been concluded with the priest, in that compensation of RM40,000 would be paid and an alternative site provided to rebuild the temple.
The incident has been cited by both opposition and Barisan Nasional (BN) members as a key factor in influencing the outcome of the March 8 polls.
BN and Umno took the brunt of voter anger over this and other issues, resulting in the state government falling into opposition hands for the first time in electoral history. Khir then resigned as Selangor Umno head, and is now leader of the opposition in the state legislature.
The demolition of the Sri Maha Mariamman temple was carried out in two stages, albeit not intentionally. As the illegal extension was being pulled down on Oct 30, a violent fracas ensued between devotees and enforcement personnel and forced work to be abandoned.
The original 100-year-old structure was demolished later - apparently on Nov 15, based on Khir’s account during the interview. Deepavali fell on Nov 8 last year.
Samy Vellu had shown up at the site after the illegal extension was torn down, but was reportedly pelted with sticks and stones by angry residents.
He then issued an unprecedented statement urging an end to such incidents, warning that the government risked losing Indian Malaysian votes. Although he also banned MIC elected representatives from holding the traditional Deepavali open house as a mark of protest, he quickly rescinded the order.
The following excerpts of the interview with Khir have been edited for clarity.
The temple incident in Kampung Rimba Jaya was said to be a major cause of BN’s downfall and you have been blamed for it.
I would like to explain. The court, after three years of deliberation, decided that it was time to remove the temple as the flats that were being built there were nearing completion and people were ready to move in. The court decided that it was time to remove not just the temple but a surau and some squatter houses.
On the day itself, I was told that the surau had been demolished and (the enforcement team) was stopped at the gate of the temple.
Samy Vellu then met me and (premier) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the Blue Wave hotel (in Shah Alam) and we all agreed to stop the demolition process at the temple gate. Samy then made an announcement in Rimba Jaya, (asking) not to demolish the temple because in two days, the people would evacuate the site. Now the purported version is that the Selangor government on my instructions had demolished the temple two days before Deepavali, and this is incorrect. As I said, the agreement to stop the demolition was agreed to by all parties and was witnessed by many others. When I visited Rimba Jaya after that, the temple was intact. A week after Deepavali - not two days before - Samy Vellu called me on the night of Nov 15 and told me that Hindraf people had infiltrated the temple and that it must be demolished that night itself. And that’s what we did - so it wasn’t before Deepavali.
The demolition was done with the agreement of the temple priest and the relevant people were then given replacement land to rebuild the temple and were compensated with RM40,000. I didn’t tell this to the media before, but now that I have been blamed for it, I must explain. Samy was the one who told me to do it.
You have made this explanation before. Now the question is why your explanation is not generally accepted while the Hindraf contention has become the sole angle adopted by the Indian Malaysian community.
Hindraf does not just talk about temple issues only. The group also protested against the government’s inability to address other problems faced by the community like Tamil schools, education, employment, housing and poverty. What is demanded by Hindraf is more than temple- related matters..
The issue of price hikes had been consistently highlighted by the media, way before the general elections. Did you as menteri besar and BN Selangor chief discuss this matter with the central leaders?
Yes, we did. We suggested to the government to reduce the price of oil and stop other projects. But as a mere state leader I cannot make any decisions.
But the opposition has been riding on this issue and has consistently associated BN with price hikes. Why didn’t BN respond effectively?
I myself don’t understand. We had suggested to the federal government that the oil price be reduced, but they did not respond. Instead they believed in explaining (the issue) to the people, and the people don’t want to hear that.
As we remember it, the matter was discussed in depth by BN - this means the party had sufficient time to respond to the matter...
Suggestions were made, but there was no reaction. Point taken, but where were the responses?
Are you saying that there are no state issues that caused the electoral losses?
Not many. The biggest issue in Selangor is public transportation which renders it a must for everyone to own a car. Almost all the households in Selangor have a car, you can see low-cost houses with two or three cars (parked outside) because there is no efficient public transportation system. (It is) something that I have been fighting to get for a long time.
Light Rail Transit projects go only halfway because of insufficient funding. When there is a station, it’s so far from people’s houses that they end up buying cars. We actually have a plan to purchase houses and land near train stations, no matter how expensive it is, so we can build low- cost housing, but I can’t say it because I will be accused of trying to teach the government how to run things.

tunku : i have been waiting for khir to answer samy's accusation for a long time. good at last he did it. samy oh samy, what will your response be after this?

Hisham: I am willing to give up political career for Umno

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein explained that he was putting the party first in apologising for waving the keris.
“I took into consideration all aspects before making a decision. It is not as if I only wanted to think about my political position.
“Sincerely, I am willing to sacrifice my political career for the party. We will get nowhere if we continue to have conflicts,” he told reporters after the Umno supreme council meeting yesterday.
He was asked about some Malays who expressed disappointment with his apology and the Muar division which had asked him to resign over the issue
When asked if he was pressured into making the apology, Hishammuddin said there were no pressure whatsoever from anyone.
“I am willing to take the responsibility for anything that can affect the party. I will face the risk.
“The party has to come first before one does something to promote self-interest. Only then the people will see the willingness of Umno to defend Malaysians, especially the Malays,” he added.
Earlier, at the Parliament lobby, Hishamuddin said his apology was well received.
“Response was good. However, they want to see more action.
“It was never my intention to scare anyone,” Hishamuddin said.
Last Friday, Hishammuddin apologised to all Malaysians for his action, admitting his raising of the keris at the Umno Youth general assemblies was among the causes for Barisan Nasional’s poor performance in the recent general election.

tunku if this comes sincerely from hisham, then we should support him and proud of him as he realized his mistake and trying to make things better.hope it's not for personal agenda.not like pak lah, self interest comes first before party.

Stop Holding Emergency Meetings, Abdullah Tells Umno Divisions

KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 (Bernama) -- All Umno divisions have been urged to stop holding emergency meetings to demand a power transition in the party before December.
Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said it was better for such moves not made because the leadership had understood the wish and views of the grassroots towards the government.
"What the people want is for us to focus on matters relating to the people's interests with the energy that we have.
"The people support us because we have programmes that we will carry out. If we do not carry them out, however strong the party may be the people will not accept it.
"So, our promises to the people must be honoured," he told reporters after chairing an Umno Supreme Council meeting here Monday.
Abdullah said internal party problems should not be let to absorb into the responsibility to the people.
"Democratic processes in the party will run during December elections. At the time, we cast our votes. No need to blow it out, no need.
"Actually, we know them all and all people know what they are doing, what they are capable of, what they can do, what wrong they have done, what their shortcomings are.
"The time will come for us to meet and at that time, we will decide what should be decided," he said.
Abdullah said if the move to hold an emergency meeting was aimed at sending a certain message to him pertaining to a power transition, it was not necessary because many statements on the matter were published in local newspapers.
So far, three Umno divisions -- Cheras, Gua Musang and Batu Pahat -- have held emergency meetings calling for the power transition to be speeded up.
Asked on the number of votes received by Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar during the election for the post of Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker, Abdullah said it was a good development.
It showed Wan Junaidi's appointment received backings from opposition members of Parliament (MPs), he said.
Wan Junaidi who is MP for Santubong obtained 157 votes during the secret ballot whilst Barisan Nasional MPs totalled 140.

tunku : no need to hold the EGM, let him be the prime minister as long as he wants it. please don't pressure him as he is so dedicated and hardworking pm.......... i must be having to much coffee. this is an example of a coward pm. why don't you resign as umno president and continue as the pm for time being. let the new president concentrate on the party reform's agenda and you concentrate on the government administration for time being. there is not much time and so many things to do.the longer you are there the more damage you bring to the party.

People's Needs, Priorities Come First Than Party's, Says Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 (Bernama) -- The government will always give importance to the people's problems and interests, particularly to meet the needs of the low-income earners, by initiating programmes to ease their burden, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Monday night.
The prime minister said though the Barisan Nasional (BN) was facing various setbacks, the coalition would ensure the people's agenda was accorded priority over everything else.
"Serious attention will be given to the masses' woes. The BN is still the federal government and is governing the nation from the mandate given by the people. Issues concerning the people will be given prompt attention," he told a press conference after chairing a meeting of the supreme council, Umno's powerful decision-making body.
Abdullah said the government viewed the fuel price hike issue seriously as it could lead to an increase in prices of consumer goods and other problems that might surface due to global food shortage.
In this regard, he said, the government would expedite measures to set up a food stockpile and the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry had drawn up a proposal paper to implement the national food security plan.
Abdullah said the proposal paper would be tabled in the Cabinet soon for perusal.
The prime minister also said the government would give attention to meet the housing needs of the low-income group by providing better and cheaper houses.
"Prices of foodstuff are increasing and this has taken a toll on the people's affordability to buy houses. It's not easy but there must be a new deal for the poor.
"The party cannot be selfish, thinking of its own interests merely, it must also take into account the people's problems and hardship.
"Besides focusing on efforts to strengthen and consolidate Umno, we cannot forget and ignore the agenda to help the people (tide over their problems)," he said.
Abdullah said the supreme council also discussed the shortage of non-Malays in the civil service and the council acknowledged the need to open the doors to them to fill the vacant posts in the service.
As to the weaknesses in Umno that had led to the party's dismal showing in the March 8 general election, Abdullah said the issue would be discussed in greater detail at the BN supreme council meeting Tuesday.
He said BN component party leaders would be given the opportunity to air their views on the matter not only during election time but also whenever the council met.
Apart from weaknesses, discussions would also centre on the needs of the younger set, he said.
He advised Umno leaders and members not to be too engrossed with the party elections in December.
"We must focus our energy to what should be given to the people as the party that has formed the government and has been mandated to govern the nation," he added.

tunku : serious suggestion, resign as umno president asap and let the acting president work day and night to reconcile the party while pak lah stay as the pm for sometimes untill the new umno president takes over from him. resign asap as umno president.

Khir Toyo: Umno has lost touch with reality

Former Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo said he knew it all along that Barisan Nasional (BN) would suffer heavy losses in the March 8 polls, long before the date arrived.
In an interview, he revealed how he had learnt of the impending defeat. However, as the ‘general’ of his ‘army’, he could not disclose his forebodings to his ‘troops’.
“I started getting negative feelings when (former Finance Minister and Umno treasurer) Daim Zainuddin said five states would fall to the opposition. As Selangor Umno chief, I couldn’t say it out loud as it would have dampened the spirits of party members,” he said.
Instead, he saw it as his duty to suppress negativity and to focus supporters on slugging it out in the polls. Still, he dropped hints that, while the polls might appear easy to win, this would be a difficult task.
Selangor rode the Pakatan Rakyat wave alongside Penang, Kedah, Perak and Kelantan, while the BN drowned in its worst ever defeat.
Khir pointed to the federal government’s arrogance and insensitivity to the needs of the people, even after he had sent up pleas to Umno president and premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi .
“Suggestions were made, but there was no reaction. Point taken, but where were the responses?” he said.
He criticised the information dissemination mechanism in Umno, saying the central leadership did not get the right information and therefore could not devise a campaign strategy to win over voters.
“The reports given to the leadership came from only one party, for example, Special Branch officers. These officers are often Malays and can only provide information regarding Malay voters, not the other races. So, it’s hard for us to get real information,” he said.
The election results, he said, are a reflection of Umno having lost touch with reality. This, leaves the party with no option but to tread the path of reform.
The following excerpts of the interview have been edited for clarity.
Let’s start with your blog...
I have received good responses to my blog. I didn’t expect (this). The comments are mainly positive ones like calls to reform the government.
When I was the menteri besar, I did many things to reform the state government but the people failed to see this.
This caused confusion among the rakyat and this is when certain quarters came in to exploit the situation. It led to the people being misled (into thinking that we had not done enough for them) and as we all know, blogs or the Internet media are more credible than other forms of media.
What about the so-called ‘cyber-war’ between you and Muhammad Muhd Taib?
I wouldn’t describe it as a cyber-war. As an Umno supreme council member and a blogger, I vowed in my first posting that I would tell the truth and I have been trained to tell the truth. Even though the truth is painful, I have no qualms about telling it. Even the Umno president has told all party members to tell the truth and that is what I am doing.
What is the reaction in Umno? You are among leaders deemed to be vocal and consistent with your views...
There are pros and cons to (being labelled as such), but I only wish to tell the truth..
What truth are you talking about? Are you talking about transition of power?
If that is what Umno members, bloggers and the rakyat want, we must express it and it is up to the leadership to decide how to react to it. Don’t let things come to a point where the rakyat say that we are not delivering the right information. This is possibly one reason why Umno was defeated so badly in the March 8 polls. To me, truth is important.
So what is the problem? Why is it that the party top leadership did not get the right information? It was impossible for Umno to predict the election outcome. You managed to identify eight hot seats in Selangor and MCA disagreed with you.
Perhaps the reports given to the leadership came from only one party, for example, the Special Branch officers.
These officers are often Malays and can only provide information regarding Malay voters and not the other races. So it’s hard for us to get real information.
If you look at the March 8 results in Selangor, the swing was 35 percent, of which 30 percent was caused by Chinese voters. The swing from Malays was only 5 percent.
But you didn’t predict this...
I started getting negative feelings when Daim Zainuddin said that five states would fall to the opposition. As Selangor Umno chief, I couldn’t say it out loud as it would have dampened the spirits of my party members.
As leaders, we have to refrain from giving our soldiers negative information. It may demoralise them. You have to analyse the information first...I was worried, I informed all division and branch chiefs of Selangor that the elections may look easy, but would be difficult to win.
Daim’s statement came quite late, so how did the BN election machinery react to it?
We told them to work really hard for the elections. I’m (only) responsible for Umno (and not other BN parties). Umno won 18 of the 20 seats (that went to) BN in Selangor. Maybe the over-confidence after BN’s 2004 election victory created a negative impact.
Political parties must become the voice of the rakyat, not the government... (but) politicians responded on behalf of the government (on issues) like the (increased) price of fuel and basic goods, saying that the government can’t do much about it. They began showing formulae used to calculate the prices when all the people wanted was for political parties to listen to them and address their problems.
We have to become the voice of the people but it’s the other way around now. I hope that Umno Youth especially can become the voice of the people now.
Is this a suggestion for separation of government and political functions?
Umno does not form the government - the BN does. Umno members must represent the will of the people and must press the government to safeguard the interests of the people.
For example, I have been bringing up issues on the food crisis since 2002. Now we can see the early signs of a food crisis and we have to tell the government that the rakyat wants prices of basic goods to be reduced. The government must think of a way to reduce the prices by either increasing the number of import agents or opening up the market.
But so far Umno has not spoken of about this matter...
That is why we have to learn, we cannot depend on old methods any more. As leaders we have to admit our mistakes and change things. When I concede mistakes, I try to change and I hope that others will follow suit.
Back to the rice price hike, we have to open up the market so that rice can be imported. Maybe it will affect the income of local rice farmers, but why shouldn’t we subsidise them?
Do you agree that the rice-import monopoly of Bernas (Padiberas Nasional Bhd) should be terminated?
Yes, definitely...(and it’s) not just with rice. For sugar and other basic food items, we have to open up the market to let the rakyat have the lowest price, while maintaining the income level of farmers.
In other countries, unemployed people receive financial help from their government. The same can be done here. The government can help supplement farmers’ income when the price of rice drops. What we see now is that the rakyat has to pay a lot for basic goods, while farmers (enjoy subsidies).
How do you propose to reform a party like Umno, which has several million members?
We need to start. We must. In fact I was thinking, the separation between the party and the government must be clear. To me, the party president should concentrate on consolidating the party, as is done in India.
Here we have all the (heads of BN) component parties asking for government posts. If the PM gives me the presidency (of Umno), I would consolidate the party. And if the PM does something wrong, the party will tell him so.
Wouldn’t it make the situation more complicated?
It is (a form of) check and balance.
When we look at separation of functions, we see that the higher one goes, the more government posts the person gets...
That is the problem. (We need to create) check and balance.
But it would prolong the journey...
Never mind. Reforms must be introduced. The most important thing is to never stop at introducing changes.

tunku : i thought he said zero opposition(sifar pembangkang) all the while and it really backfired.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Samy Vellu 'could have done more' for Indians

KUALA LUMPUR: The Barisan Nasional government is not solely to be blamed for the dissatisfaction of the Indians in the country.
The person who should shoulder the blame is MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, said Malaysian Indian Business Association president P. Sivakumar.
"When Samy Vellu became the MIC president in 1982, the community hero-worshipped him and gave him their support. But, he failed miserably to speak out for the Indians when he had the chance to do so and disappointed them."
Sivakumar said Samy Vellu should have put his foot down when confronted by those who stood in his way.
"He may have done things for the Indians, but he failed on the bigger issue. He cannot blame the government alone."
Giving an example, Sivakumar cited the drive to industrialise in the early 1980s which forced thousands of Indians out of plantations.
He said Samy Vellu should have fought for jobs, training, grants and housing for them.
"He should have asked for an allocation to nurture them. This is where the government could have ensured that the nation's wealth was fairly distributed."
Sivakumar said the agricultural knowledge of these people could have been put to good use "but all the talents are lost now".
Instead, hardcore and urban poverty was created with many youths choosing a life of crime to support themselves.

tunku : just before 2008 he was the king of indians in malaysia. he is above all, no wants could touch him as he was untouchable. anyone try to fight him will be shown exit door. now the world is different for samy vellu but i guess he has plenty of money, he don't care it's just to make people remember him for something, otherwise whenever his name is mention people will curse him.

Kampar Umno Sends Petition Asking Tajol Rosli To Resign

KAMPAR, April 27 (Bernama) -- The Kampar Umno division has sent a petition to party state liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali asking him to resign as he has failed to carry out his duty as a leader.
The petition was signed by 111 representatives of the division and its Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings, as well as the branch heads at a special meeting recently.
Division secretary Abdul Rahman Md. Som said a copy of the petition was sent to Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
This followed a call from the division head Datuk Mohd Radzi Manan on April 14 for Tajol Rosli, the former Perak Menteri Besar, to step down to make way for a more energetic leader.
Speaking to reporters after meeting about 500 members from the division at Changkat Tin, near here, today, Abdul Rahman said the petition also conveyed the division's disappointment over Tajol Rosli's lack of initiative to revive the spirit of Perak Umno members following Barisan Nasional's dismal showing in the March 8 general election.
He said the members were under stress as Perak Umno had lost its direction and there was no specific plan of action for its strength to be restored as soon as possible.

tunku : not only perak umno had lost its direction with no specific plan of action but also in kedah,penang,selangor and most of the states. people like pak lah, mahdzir khalid,tajol rosli should quit and let others to lead as the have failed miserably.

Cheras Umno wants Zulhasnan out

Umno Cheras division head Syed Ali Al Habshi has demanded the party’s Kuala Lumpur chief and Federal Territories Minister Zulhasnan Rafique to step down.
Syed Ali said the division unanimously called on party president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to replace Zulhasnan with former Umno KL chief Tengku Adnan Mansor.
The division wants this to be done as soon as possible, he added
"Zulhasnan must take responsibility over the heavy loss suffered by Umno and BN in KL and make way for Tengku Adnan to take over to consolidate the party once again," Syed Ali told reporters during the division’s extraordinary general assembly (EGM) today.
In the March 8 polls, the opposition took 10 out of the 11 parliamentary seats in KL.
A few weeks after that, Syed Ali said his division had submitted a resolution to Zulhasnan calling for the latter to assume responsibility over the setback and make way for the new leadership.
Zulhasnan then countered this resolution by urging all Umno division chiefs in KL to ink their support for him.
"This is wrong. How can he force the division chiefs to do this. He must listen to the grassroots and the grassroots apparently want him to make way for a new leadership," said Syed Ali.
Zulhasnan was also accused of being ‘afraid and insensitive’ for not sending a representative to attend the EGM.
"Is he afraid to hear the voices of the grassroots? As a leader of the party, you must listen to the grassroots and strive to fight for them," said Syed Ali.
'Abolish quota system'
Meanwhile, the division chief also called on the Umno president to abolish the quota system for top posts.
He said the quota system has become the primary tool for the party leadership to maintain its hold on power despite not getting support from the grassroots.
"The leaders must be appointed by all party members and not division chiefs only. If one division has 280 members, all of them must be allowed to choose who they want as leaders," he stressed.
His division’s demands, Syed Ali explained, were not prompted by other Umno leaders as alleged but were the wishes of the members.
Other Umno veterans like Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his son Mukhriz have also called for the abolition of the quota system.
In another development, Syed Ali also defended the controversial raising of the keris during the Umno annual general assembly by Youth chief Hishammuddin Hussein.
He said this was the "rightful tradition of Malay heritage."
"I don’t think Hishammuddin should apologise for the incident. Why should we? It is our culture and we should have the right to practice our culture," he added.
He said the keris incident should not be politicised as even the Sultans carry the keris during formal functions.
On Friday, Hishammuddin apologised if the incident had affected non-Malays.

Cheras Umno Wants Leadership Transition To Be Expedited

KUALA LUMPUR, April 27(Bernama) -- The Cheras Umno division wants the leadership transition process in Umno to be expedited so that its new leader can consolidate the party's strength.
Cheras Umno head Senator Datuk Wira Syed Ali Alhabshee in making the call said it should be done when Umno's elections take place in December.
The division held an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) Sunday and among the resolutions adopted at it was one calling for Federal Territory Umno/Barisan Nasional( BN) liaision chief Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique to take responsibility for the BN's poor showing in Kuala Lumpur in the March 8 general election and step down.
Cheras Umno also wanted the quota system for nominations for election to top posts in the party to be abolished and for an EGM to be called at the national level to explain to members why the coalition fared badly in the election.
It also took to task Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Zaid Ibrahim for calling the government to apologise to former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas over his sacking from the post, 20 years ago.
Another resolution called for delegates allowed to speak at Umno's general assembly in December to be able to speak their minds.

tunku : i agree that all the umno head who lost their state or territories should resign.till date only dr khir has done that. but i don't agree replacing zulhasnan with tengku adnan. for me zulhasnan is far better leader than tengku adnan. the person who should really step down is pak lah.

Hishammuddin urged to quit over keris issue

MUAR: Many Umno branch and divisional leaders here want Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein to resign over the keris issue which they said had adversely affected Barisan Nasional in the recent general election.
Datuk Kadar Shah Tun Sulaiman Ninam Shah said about 90 branch and 25 divisional leaders made the call Sunday after Hishammuddin had admitted the keris issue was among the causes of Barisan's poor performance in the March 8 polls.
To admit the mistake was not good enough, he said, if the Youth chief did not take responsibility and resign from all party and government posts.
Kadar Shah said that having a Cabinet minister for several terms, Hishammuddin should be mature enough to know what a leader should do, and should have known that brandishing the keris could hurt the feelings of other races.
He said branch and division committee members, including former Sungai Balang assemblyman Zakariah Mahadi, wanted Hishammuddin to gracefully resign from all party and government posts.

tunku : i think we should not demand or ask hisham to quit or resign as he had said that he won't defend the ketua pemuda post in the coming umno's election. so there is no need for him to resign at this point of time.we don't want kj to be the acting head right now.

Sabah MP: Kancil, Waja not suitable for rural cops

KOTA KINABALU: A Sabah MP is questioning the practicality of providing Kancil and Proton Waja cars for policemen to patrol the rural areas of Sabah.
Kalabakan MP Datuk Ghapur Salleh said such vehicles were not practical for police to carry out their duties in rural areas where there were dirt roads, shallow river crossings and rickety wooden bridges.
"We all just blame the police for being unable to do their job, but we must think of their limitations in effectively policing our streets," Ghapur said, adding that there was a need to be practical in providing proper equipment for the police force.
He said it was more practical for police to get four-wheel drive vehicles in the rural areas because of their tough terrain.
He said that with the current vehicles, police were not only unable to give effective pursuit but were also risking their lives.

tunku : don't blame the police, blame the government for not providing them with the 4WD vehicles.government should look this matter seriously. even in town area or anywhere, don't expect policeman in kancil to chase the bad guys in bmw,pajero etc.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dr Mahathir : Charge Bush, Blair and Howard for war crimes

Dr Mahathir Mohamad has called for an international tribunal to try Western leaders with war crimes over the war in Iraq.
In a speech at Imperial College in London yesterday, Mahathir called for a tribunal to try US President George W Bush plus former prime ministers Tony Blair of Britain and John Howard of Australia for their part in the conflict, said a spokesman for the Muslim group the Ramadhan Foundation, which set up the event.
Spokesman Mohammed Shafiq told AFP that Mahathir, who was in office from 1981 to 2003, wants to see the trio tried "in absence for war crimes committed in Iraq.
"It was a opportunity for students to put a range of questions about war crimes and the international situation.
"He said that people have to stop killing each other and use arbitration, negotiation and discussion as an alternative to violence, war and killing."
On the war in Iraq, Mahathir spoke about "the thousands dying, the economic war, the power of oil and how we could utilise some of these tools to have a leverage against the people who commit countries to war," Shafiq said.
He purposely did not speak about or answer questions from students on the political situation in Malaysia, said Shafiq.
Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is facing growing demands to quit, following an unprecedented electoral setback in March.
More than 450 people attended the speech and about 200 more had to be turned away.
Mahathir was in Cuba earlier this week to take part in the first International Conference of the Cuban Centre for Studies on Defence Information.
The Ramadhan Foundation is a leading British Muslim youth organisation working for peaceful co-existence and dialogue between communities.

Speed up transition plan, Umno division tells PM

BATU PAHAT: The Batu Pahat Umno division has called for party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to speed up the transition plan.
It also wants the Prime Minister to reveal the plan to members before the party elections in December.
The motion was passed in an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), chaired by the division head Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi.
Batu Pahat Umno division is the first in Johor to hold an EGM over the shocking results of Barisan Nasional and Umno in the recent general election.
Some 360 members from 145 branches in the division passed the resolutions unanimously at the meeting at Dewan Jubli Intan here Saturday.
Dr Mohd Puad, who is also Batu Pahat MP, said the transition could be done in various ways, even before the presidency period is up.
He said that in the past, Tunku Abdul Rahman dissolved parliament four days after the May 13 incident in 1969.
“Then, the power was passed on to Tun Abdul Razak who was appointed the chairman of the National Operations Council.
“But Tunku Abdul Rahman remained as the prime minister and Umno president,” he said.
Dr Mohd Puad did not mention the name of the successor they hoped for.
However, he said it has always been the party tradition that the successor should be the deputy president.
“We also feel that this is the best way at this juncture to avoid misunderstanding and disorder in the party,” he said.
The division also pressured the party leaders to investigate and solve the claim of “family involvement” in the country’s administration, which was said to be the cause of the people’s anger towards Umno.

tunku : bravo dr puad and his division.wish to see more divisions will come out and voice out the truth. umno seriously need some major revamp ,we can't just sit back and relax and hopes that thing will be fine or heal by itself. wake up umno members.

Apology Over Kris Won't Derogate Malay Dignity, Says Najib

keris is outdated

PEKAN, April 26 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein's apology over the "kris issue" will not derogate from the Malays' dignity because kris is a mere symbol, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said on Saturday.
The dignity of the Malays would only remain redeemed if they were successful in strategic fields to continue to compete with other races, said the deputy prime minister who is also Umno deputy president.
"I hope the issue will not crop up again. Datuk Seri Hishammuddin has done a very solicitious and noble act, meaning he is ready to seek apology though some people say it was not his intention to declare war or has a conviction in any racist move," he told reporters here today.
He was commenting on the Umno Youth head's apology for drawing and kissing a kris at the last Umno Youth assembly which was said to be among the factors to Barisan Nasional's dismal performance in last month's general election.
Najib said: "Kris is a weapon in the context of our culture, not more than that. But because there are people playing up the issue, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin's move, I hope, will be accepted as something positive, sincere and noble so that the issue will not crop up again."
"The dignity of the Malays has nothing to do with kris. The dignity of the Malays will be redeemed if the Malays succeed in various fields -- politics, mastery of knowledge, economy and social.
"Everything must point to the Malays' development being at the level of excellence; we can compete not only at home but also internationally. At that time, the Malays will been seen as a successful race.
"So, the kris is a mere symbol and not linked to excellence. Excellence in the real world depends on our success in strategic fields," he said.
Earlier, Najib launched a programme at the Al-Taqwa Mosque. Present were Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob and Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Noraini Ahmad.

In IPOH, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu described Hishammuddin’s open apology to all Malaysians if the kris issue had nudged their sentiments, as gentlemanly and befitting a good young leader.
It was also in line with the principle put forward by famous author Dale Carnegie in one of his well-known books, "How to Win Friends and Influence People", he said.
"He is a gentleman, a good young leader. He follows the principle of Dane Carnegie who said that 'if you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically' but I must say Datuk Seri Hishammuddin is an effective and very good leader.
"Without him, I don't think today we would have built 41 Tamil schools in one go. This was the money that he gave when I was Minister for Works," he told reporters at the Evertronics Skill Development Centre in Wisma Wan Mohammad. Samy Vellu said all parties should now respect the appeal for apology and not to raise the issue again.
"When somebody say I am sorry we should just keep quite after that, we should not talk anything further. If we talk further, we don't respect the apology," he said.
When asked to comment on Hishammuddin who is Education Minister, offering the apology only now, Samy Vellu said: "Never mind. You see, after the Second World War after the death of so many million people, the Emperor of Japan said 'I am sorry'. What is wrong if Hishammuddin said it after six months or 12 months or 15 months. He has said it, that is more important".
Meanwhile, he said the MIC would submit a request to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib for additional allocations to train Indian youths under the mid-term review of the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP)
The government, through the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister's Department, had approved RM6 million to train 1,000 Indian youths under the 9MP. "I will ask for another RM6 million so that by the end of the 9MP, we can have at least 2,000 youths fully trained to serve the country," Samy Vellu said.

tunku : i think we should just leave the keris issue as it is. it was not the main factor for bn/umno bad result.hisham is going for vp post so need some rebranding to do. the main factor is with the top leadership which need changes and alteration. as for samy, i thought couple of week ago he said government did nothing and he's going oversea to ask for fund, why asking 6million now? samy is all out to be hero but sometimes doesn't use his brain.

Razaleigh Admits He May Have Been Cause Of BN Electoral Loss In Kelantan

KOTA BAHARU, April 26 (Bernama) -- Gua Musang Member of Parliament Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has admitted that he might have been a factor for the defeat of the Barisan Nasional (BN) in Kelantan in the general election last month.
The Gua Musang Umno Division chief said the coalition's loss could have been due to his having cooperated with PAS in the general election in 1990 when he was helming Parti Semangat 46, which resulted in PAS capturing Kelantan from the BN.
"It could be right. He has said so. He is a prominent person; he can say that," he told reporters after launching a Maulidur Rasul event at the Balai Islam here last night.
Tengku Razaleigh was commenting on a statement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on April 6 that Tengku Razaleigh was the reason why Kelantan fell to PAS and why the BN had failed to recapture the state until today.
Abdullah had said that the former finance minister was given the opportunity to helm Kelantan Umno and BN in the general election in 1999 but that effort also failed and Kelantan Umno reported that Tengku Razaleigh did not help out in the last general election.
Tengku Razaleigh said he had his own reasons why Kelantan BN lost in the March 8 general election but, when pressed by reporters, he said he would make an announcement when the time came.
On his announced intention to contest the Umno presidency in the party elections in December, Tengku Razaleigh said he would continue to work towards contesting the post to set a new direction for Umno.
He said he believed that there would be no split in the party but that if he did not act immediately, any crack in the party would only get worse.
Tengku Razaleigh also said that he would not have to cooperate with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad because they had differing views.
He said he wanted to take over the post of Umno president in a democratic manner at the party's general assembly at the end of the year as it was the right platform to do so than, as Dr Mahathir believed, in asking Abdullah to step down.
Tengku Razaleigh said his intention to contest the post was also to develop the east coast states to enable the people there to enjoy development just like those in the other states.
He hoped that Umno members throughout the country would support him in his quest to contest the post of party president.
Tengku Razaleigh, 71, is the longest-serving member of parliament. He has never lost in the elections since 1974 when his seat was then called Ulu Kelantan. The name was changed to Gua Musang in 1986.
He also reiterated his call for the quota system of the Umno elections to be abolished, thus doing away with the need to garner a sufficient number of nominations for anyone to contest posts.
According to regulations approved at a special Umno general assembly in October 1988, nominations of up to 30 per cent (from 57 of the 191 divisions) are necessary to contest the post of president, 20 per cent (38 divisions) for the post of deputy president, 10 per cent (19 divisions) for the post of vice-presidents and five per cent (10 divisions) for supreme council posts.
Nominations of 20 per cent (38 divisions) are needed to contest the posts of Wanita Umno chief, Umno Youth chief and Puteri Umno chief and 15 per cent (28 divisions) for the posts of Wanita Umno vice-head, Umno Youth vice-head and Puteri Umno vice-head.

Mukhriz Welcomes Ku Li's Intention To Contest Umno President's Post

MACHANG, April 26 (Bernama) -- Umno youth executive council member Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir welcomes former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah's intention to contest the Umno presidency in the party elections in December.
"Not just Tengku Razaleigh... Deputy Umno President Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and the vice-presidents can also contest for the post," he told reporters after attending a forum on the results of the March 8 general election.
Tengku Razaleigh, who is Gua Musang member of parliament, has said that he wanted to contest for the post if he had sufficient nominations.
Mukhriz said contest for the top post should be allowed so that party members would be able to choose a leader whom they think was capable of restoring the party's strength.
He said as far as possible, however, the leadership transition should be done in accordance with the tradition in Umno, by having the president handing over the post to his deputy.
But if there were contest for the top post, it should be done in a manner that would not cause disunity in the party, he said.

tunku : kelantan umno has never been unite since pas took over and believe me they are more comfortable to be the opposition there than being the government as they receive development fund directly to them from the hq. but now with 5+1 states being held by the opposition things might change as they can't concentrate on kelantan alone anymore. nothing to do with kuli factor, yes it was kuli factor in 1990, after that it was the kelantan umno itself. mukhriz still hoping for smooth transition to happen which is not happening the best way is challenge the president in december,who ever dares, kuli already announced for the battle, let see if others are brave to follow.