Friday, December 28, 2007

AlFatihah for Benazir Bhutto

Just read this news in BBC website.

Lets us all recite AlFatihah for Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan who was killed today in Rawalpindi. She was shot in the neck by the suicide bomber who then sets off a bomb.

This story hasnt appear in Malaysiakini yet.

Here is the story;

Benazir Bhutto killed in attack

Benazir Bhutto had been addressing rallies in many parts of Pakistan
Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated in a suicide attack.
Ms Bhutto had just addressed an election rally in Rawalpindi when she was shot in the neck by a gunman who then set off a bomb.

At least 15 other people died in the attack and several more were injured.

President Pervez Musharraf and his government called on people to remain calm so that the "nefarious designs of terrorists can be defeated."

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack.

Ms Bhutto, leader of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), had twice been the country's prime minister and had been campaigning ahead of elections due in January.

It was the second suicide attack against her in recent months and came amid a wave of bombings targeting security and government officials.

Nawaz Sharif, also a former prime minister and a political rival, said her death was a tragedy for "the entire nation".

"It is not a sad day, it is [the] darkest, gloomiest day in the history of this country," he said, speaking at the hospital where she was taken.

The United Nations Security Council is to meet for emergency consultations shortly to discuss the situation in Pakistan after the killing.

Scene of grief

The attack occurred close to an entrance gate of the park in Rawalpindi where Ms Bhutto had been speaking.

People were distraught at the scene of the blast

Police confirmed reports Ms Bhutto had been shot in the neck and chest before the gunman blew himself up.

She died at 1816 (1316 GMT), said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of the PPP who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital.

Some supporters at the hospital wept while others exploded in anger, throwing stones at cars and breaking windows.

Police in the north-western city of Peshawar are reported to have used tear gas and batons to break up a demonstration by angry Bhutto supporters and there were also protests in other cities.

Mr Sharif said there had been a "serious lapse in security" by the government.

But an old friend of Ms Bhutto, Salman Tassir, told the BBC World Service he did not think criticism should be directed at the government.

"There have been suicide attacks on Gen Musharraf also," he told Newshour.

"... I mean it is extremism and the fanatics who are to blame."

Earlier on Thursday, at least four people were killed ahead of an election rally Mr Sharif had been preparing to attend close to Rawalpindi.

Ms Bhutto's death has plunged the PPP into confusion and raises questions about whether January elections will go ahead as planned, the BBC's Barbara Plett in Islamabad says.

Return from exile

The killing was condemned by the US, the UK and others.

"The attack shows that there are still those in Pakistan trying to undermine reconciliation and democratic development in Pakistan," a US state department official said.

UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband said he was "deeply shocked" by Ms Bhutto's death and said "extremist groups... [could] not and must not succeed".

Ms Bhutto returned from self-imposed exile in October after years out of Pakistan where she had faced corruption charges.

Her return was the result of a power-sharing agreement with President Musharraf in which he granted an amnesty that covered the court cases she was facing.

It was only a matter of time before the darker forces... carried out this action

Since her return relations with Mr Musharraf had broken down.

On the day of her return she led a motor cavalcade through the city of Karachi. It was hit by a double suicide attack that left some 130 dead.

Hindraf: I think the Queen heard you.

I have never read, The Queen's (yes, The British Monarch, Queen Elizabeth 2) Christmas messages the previous years. This year I only read it yesterday. Thanks to such websites as among others. Follow this link to read the full speech.
I become interested after reading that the latest Queen's Christmas mention on the poor and the marginalised. I wonder if her speech is a coincident? Reports on Hindraf and Malaysian Indians related issues still fill up most of the front page of Malaysiakini.

Sure, most Malaysians would dismiss Hindraf claims off hand. We are all living under the same sun, everyone had the same chance to get ahead in life, improve themselves and everyone had the same opportunity to excel. Malaysians of Indian estate descent also have the same opportunity. Right?
So how come those Malaysians of Indian estate descent doesnt make the 'grade'? Truth is they are not the only ones who doesnt make the 'grade' to adapt to the urban Malaysia. I can tell you there are hundreds of thousands of Malaysians of Malay, Chinese, Orang Asli, Kadazan, Iban ethnic origins who are poor and uneducated, lives in the margins of society.
The Govt cannot ignore these people anymore. And thank you Hindraf for highlighting their predicament. My only regret is that Hindraf is Hindu Indian ethnic based, championing Hindu Malaysians.

What about other?

Here is the full transcript of The British Monarch Christmas message;

The Christmas Broadcast 2007
One of the features of growing old is a heightened awareness of change. To remember what happened 50 years ago means that it is possible to appreciate what has changed in the meantime. It also makes you aware of what has remained constant.

In my experience, the positive value of a happy family is one of the factors of human existence that has not changed. The immediate family of grandparents, parents and children, together with their extended family, is still the core of a thriving community.

When Prince Philip and I celebrated our Diamond Wedding last month, we were much aware of the affection and support of our own family as they gathered round us for the occasion.

Now today, of course, marks the birth of Jesus Christ. Among other things, it is a reminder that it is the story of a family; but of a family in very distressed circumstances. Mary and Joseph found no room at the inn; they had to make do in a stable, and the new-born Jesus had to be laid in a manger. This was a family which had been shut out.

Perhaps it was because of this early experience that, throughout his ministry, Jesus of Nazareth reached out and made friends with people whom others ignored or despised. It was in this way that he proclaimed his belief that, in the end, we are all brothers and sisters in one human family.

The Christmas story also draws attention to all those people who are on the edge of society - people who feel cut off and disadvantaged; people who, for one reason or another, are not able to enjoy the full benefits of living in a civilised and law-abiding community. For these people the modern world can seem a distant and hostile place.

It is all too easy to 'turn a blind eye', 'to pass by on the other side', and leave it to experts and professionals. All the great religious teachings of the world press home the message that everyone has a responsibility to care for the vulnerable. Fortunately, there are many groups and individuals, often unsung and unrewarded, who are dedicated to ensuring that the 'outsiders' are given a chance to be recognised and respected. However, each one of us can also help by offering a little time, a talent or a possession, and taking a share in the responsibility for the well-being of those who feel excluded.

And also today I want to draw attention to another group of people who deserve our thoughts this Christmas. We have all been conscious of those who have given their lives, or who have been severely wounded, while serving with the Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The dedication of the National Armed Forces Memorial was also an occasion to remember those who have suffered while serving in these and every other place of unrest since the end of the Second World War.

For their families, Christmas will bring back sad memories, and I pray that all of you, who are missing those who are dear to you, will find strength and comfort in your families and friends.

A familiar introduction to an annual Christmas Carol Service contains the words: 'Because this would most rejoice his heart, let us remember, in his name, the poor and the helpless, the cold, the hungry, and the oppressed; the sick and those who mourn, the lonely and the unloved.'

Wherever these words find you, and in whatever circumstances, I want to wish you all a blessed Christmas.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

18 point Hindraf Memo to Govt

MULTIDIMID has this 18 point Memo of Hindraf that was submitted to the PM some time back.
Having taken time to read it, i think the Memo is fair enough.
True that it is enshrined in the Constitution that every one of Malaysian citizen is equal, and no one shall be discriminated against.
True that in practice, people tend to favour their own kind and treat ‘others’ differently and not as good as your own cliques. This inherent behaviour, is a form of racism and would take generations for people to feel comfortable with each other, given their ‘different’ physical appearance and colour.
How many decades/centuries does it take for white American to accept Afro American as nothing but American? Isnt it amazing when we see American of different shades identify themselves as nothing but American?
I believe that our model of nationhood is wrong! How can we identify ourselves as Indian, Chinese, Malay and Kadazan Malaysians? We should identify ourselves as Malaysians, full stop!
Now moving to the issue of poverty, wealth, share of nation’s wealth etc.
The problem here is the allocation of resources, division of income between capital owner (mainly Chinese and Malays) and labour (mainly Malays, Indians and foreign labour).
How much monthly wages does estate workers get? Do we expect them to be able to save money to buy shares in Sime Darby and IOI? Here lies the failure of our successive Govt since Merdeka. Our Govt don’t care that much about the hard working Malaysians, except lip service.
As for places in colleges, universities and other tertiary institutions, as well as jobs in Govt depts, I believe in MERIT. If you are good enough, you shall go to college or uni. That doesn’t mean that if you don’t go to uni, you are brainless and worth nothing.
People have different talent and intelligence. Wages and compensation should reflect effort and contribution, NOT certificates, degrees and such.
I support the part that asking for better wages for low income workers, so they shall be able to afford better than low cost housing.
Does Malays discriminate Indians, Hindus?
Malays has closer cultural affinity to Indians Malaysians than to Chinese Malaysians to be honest. Well from my point of view anyway. Malays don’t have any qualms eating at Indian or Hindu restaurant, but do you see many Malays eating at Chinese restaurant? So from the Malays perspective, we are confused with this statement from Hindraf that the Malays are discriminating the Hindus.
True that there have been a few Indians died in police lockup. And temples have been demolished. And Indian settlements have been relocated to illegal settlements.
Blame that on the Govt. They are a failure to their people, yet we keep giving them chances in the next election.

Here is the Memo: coutesy of MULTIMID, he commented on my blog when it appear on the roll in Malaysiakini.

18-Pt Memo Submitted to PM Abdullah

50th year Merdeka (Independence) demands by the two (2) million ethnic minority Indians in Malaysia to Y.A.B. Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Prime Minister of Malaysia on Sunday the 12th day of August 2007 at 10.00a.m at Seri Perdana, Putrajaya Malaysia.
1. Whereas:
The Reid Commission was appointed by her Majesty the Queen of England and the Conference of Rulers in 1956 with the view to Malaya (and now Malaysia) achieving independence by August 1957.Among the primary terms of reference of the Reid Commission were a Common Nationality for the whole of the Federation.
2. And whereas
The overwhelming of the 131 written memoranda submitted to the Reid Commission as evidenced by the declassified documents from the Public Records Office, Kew, London, United Kingdom which represented the will and wishes of the then Malayan population were primarily equality and equal opportunities etc for all Malayans irrespective of race or religion as follows: -
2.1 In the grant of state land,
2.2 Admission to public and administrative service;
2.3 To trade and do business, licences, permits etc
2.4 Primary, secondary, skills Training, university and overseas university education.2.5 No special privileges for the Malays,
2.6 No discrimination of any ethnic community based on race or religion,
2.7 The retention of all their places of worship in particular Hindu temples, crematoriums and burial sites,
2.8 Freedom of Religion,
2.9 Malaya is to be a Secular State and not an Islamic state,
2.10 Right to mother tongue education in particular Tamil schools to be fully aided,
2.11 Minimum wage for the lowest paid, and
2.12 Equal recognition as sons of soil for all Malayan bo
3. And whereas
Based on the aforesaid proposals the Malaysian Federal Constitution, which is the supreme law of Malaysia as drawn out by the Reid Commission in 1957 was passed by the inaugural Malayan Parliament and which formed the basis of independent Malaysia.
4. And whereas
Over the last 50 years since independence on the 31st day of August 1957, the United Malays Organisation (UMNO) controlled Malaysian government with their majoritarian might, and backed by police, Attorney General’s Chambers, Judiciary, civil service and the media continuously violated the Malaysian Federal Constitution by their racist and Islamic extremist policies and which in effect have created an apartheid system ala Malaysia and especially resulting in the degeneration of at least 70% of the ethnic minority Indians to become the underclass of Malaysia who end up in the poor and hardcore poor category. The rest of the 29% raised above the poor and hardcore poor category wholly and/or substantially through their own efforts, sacrifices and labour with no or very little assistance by the UMNO controlled government. The 1% of the cream thrives anyway.
5. And whereas
The plight of the Indians have been made worse by the racist UMNO mindset having spilled over to even almost all of the Opposition parties, NGOs’, Civil society, Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), Bar Council, the media etc who do not take up the Indian plight for they are deemed to be lacking “political mileage” (race based) and/or no funding.
6. And whereas
The Indians having no or very little opportunities for upward mobility or hope either turn to crime (60% of Malaysian detainees are Indians though they are only 8% of population-Suhakam 2005) or end up committing suicide which is 1000% higher than Malays (Utusan Malaysia 12.9.2005).
7. And Whereas at a public forum attended by 1,000 over Indians on 28.7.2007 at 7.00p.m at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, the participants unanimously resolved to forward their 18 point demands and which this peaceful assembly gathered here today on the 12th day of August 2007 at Putrajaya once again unanimously resolves to demand as hereinbelow outlined.
And now it is hereby demanded for and on behalf of the two (2) Million ethnic minority Indians in Malaysia from the UMNO controlled Malaysian Government their 18 point demands as follows:
(1) End 50 years of violations of the Malaysian Federal Constitution.
(2) End Racism, end Islamic extremism and end Malay privileges on the 50th year golden jubilee mega Independence celebrations of Malaysia on 31st August 2007.
(3) Call for affirmative action plans for all poor Malaysians especially the ethnic minority Indians. A Protection of Ethnic Minority Malaysian Indian Act 2007 be passed to secure and safeguard the interests of the poor and defenceless ethnic Indian Minority Community.
(4) All 523 Tamil Schools in Malaysia be made fully aided government schools with immediate effect and to have equal and same facilities as granted to national schools especially in terms of financial allocations, sufficient graduate teaching staff, financial allocation for extra tuition, ample computers, Information Technology facilities, school fields, sports, recreational facilities, air conditioned library, textbook loans, kindergarden, school uniforms and pocket money for poor pupils, nutritional food programmes, teaching aids, school building, infrastructure, film screening room and facilities, financial assistance for poor students, rehabilitation classes, non Muslim religious classes, etc. A RM 100 Billion grant @ 20 Billion per year with effect from 2007 be allocated to Indians under the 9th Malaysia Plan (5 years) for refurbishing the existing 523 Tamil schools and rebuilding of the 300 Tamil schools demolished over the last 50 years.
(5) Extend and implement with immediate effect to Indians the affirmative action plans, grants, scholarships, loans etc as extended to Malay Muslim citizens with the view to providing equal opportunities for higher education, university education, admission to foreign universities, post graduate studies locally and overseas, Trade and Skills Training Institutions, Science Colleges especially for each and every Indian student from the 70% poor and hardcore poor Indian category.
(6) Extend and implement with immediate effect affirmative action plans as extended to Malay Muslim citizens with the view to provide equal opportunities in acquiring wealth, venturing into business, trade, industries, medium and small scale industries, government linked companies, corporate sector, procurement of direct government contracts, in acquiring licenses for contractors, blue chip and / or guaranteed return shares, lorry, taxi and bus permits, loans and licenses to venture into trade, business banking and the corporate sector for each and every Indian from especially the 70% poor and hardcore poor Indian category. To this effect the UMNO controlled government allocates RM100 Billion at RM20 Billion per annum with effect from 2007 and implements successful strategic schemes in investments for the Indians as implemented for the Malay Muslims with the view to the Indians acquiring at least 10% of the nation’s equity.
(7) All the aforesaid is to be handled directly by the UMNO controlled government and UMNO is to stop “playing politics” through the “Mandore” (supervisor) system by dishing out on a piecemeal and/or peanuts basis or merely public and/or newspaper announcements and declarations by the Malaysian Indian Congress (M.I.C) who have no or very little power or say in the UMNO controlled Malaysian government.
(8) 20% of the Government top most level postings (Secretaries Generals), Middle level Management (Directors) and management level (Managers) postings, and the same for the Private Sectors, and positions of District Officers; Foreign and Diplomatic Service positions, civil service positions are reserved for Indians for the next 15 years.
(9) The UMNO controlled government makes public and is transparent on all of the aforesaid affirmative action plans i.e. the aforesaid education places, licenses, scholarships, grants, loans, permits, licenses, opportunities etc by publishing the same in the official website of the Government of Malaysia as and when the same is granted and/or on a monthly basis specifying the Indian beneficiaries thereto.
(10) Stop the indiscriminate unconstitutional and unlawful demolitions of Hindu temples, crematoriums and burial sites in Malaysia. All existing Hindu temples, crematoriums and burial sites be granted state land and permanently gazetted as Hindu temple reserves as has been done for all Islamic places of worship and burial sites. Compensation at RM10 Million per temple be paid by the UMNO controlled Malaysian Government for the 15,000 Hindu temples demolished up to date over the last 50 years.
Every individual given the Right to practice and profess Religion/s of his/her choice in accordance to Standards adopted by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948. The State and its Authorities barred from interfering in the personal beliefs and conscience of individual citizens . Disputes between Muslims & Non Muslims should be adjudicated in the Civil Courts.
(11) Stop the victimization and direct discrimination by the Police and all other state authorities of the Indians. All Malaysians earning RM 3,000.00 and below are to be fully borne by state funded legal aid for any criminal charges they face.
(12) The UMNO controlled government forms with immediate effect a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Kg Medan Mini Genocide, condemns the violence thereto, apologises to the Indian community on this mini genocide, undertakes not to repeat the same in future and pay a compensation of RM1,000,000.00 for each and every citizen killed, permanently maimed, maimed or injured in this tragedy.
(13) Each and every Indian especially the Indian poor in the aforesaid 70% Indian poor and hardcore poor category is paid compensation which is to be adjudicated and determined by the United Nations Secretary General for the aforesaid 50 years of Constitutional violations by the UMNO controlled government.
(14) All homeless Malaysians are to be provided affordable homes and not low cost flats by law. A minimum wage of RM1,000.00 for each and every Malaysian be made law.
(15) A Royal Commission of Inquiry is initiated to report on the aforesaid constitutional violations by the UMNO controlled government and appropriate recommendations for amongst others further affirmative action plans for especially the 70% Indian poor and hardcore poor category.
(16) All forms of racial and religious discrimination, oppression and suppression of the Indians / Hindus in both the public and private sectors are stopped with immediate effect and a Race Relations Commission Act 2007, an Equal Opportunities Commission Act 2007 and a Freedom of Religion Commissions Act 2007 be passed and powerful Commission thereto be put into force to give effect to anti racism, anti Islamic extremism and anti direct discrimination practices by the UMNO controlled government in both the public and private sectors.
(17) The UMNO controlled government passes specific laws to give effect to the Independence of the Judiciary, the Attorney General’s Chambers, Civil service, Police Force, Army, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission and the Malaysian media and for the Opposition parties, NGOs’ Civil Society groups, Bar Council and the media not to discriminate and side step Indian issues but instead to voice out the same without fear or favour. The Malaysian media is also to be legislated to report the real happenings especially on the 70% Indian poor and hardcore poor without fear or favour.
(18) A minimum of 20 Opposition members of Parliament are elected exclusively by the Indian Community to represent their interest at the highest political level and also as a Parliamentary Democracy check and balance and the same is safeguarded and entrenched into the Federal Constitution and which is to be increased proportionately with the increase in Parliamentary seats.
Proposer: P.Waytha Moorthy Seconder: V.K Regu; (Chairman, Hindraf) (Secretary, Hindraf)
Compiled by P.Uthayakumar legal Adviser, Hindraf based on the ground reality, sentiments, pulse, blood, sweat and tears of the Malaysian Indians after 50 years of marginalisation, discrimination, oppression and suppression by the UMNO controlled Malaysian Government.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hindraf Letter to Gordon Brown British PM

A source posted this letter in a group posting. This is supposedly the letter that Uthayakumar sent to Gordon Brown.
Read this; the tone is angry.
All this is the culmination of sloth like action taken, or rather NOT TAKEN by the Government. Nobody answer anything, nobody appear to do anything about this problem. I have seen report in Malaysiakini of Indians who died in police lockup.
Yet no one has been brought to justice or any inquiry been done.

Temple demolition?
Well the problem is like this;
The land the temple is sitting on is normally belong to some company or private individual, not the temple committee itself. The there is problem of the people building temples at places that is not designated to be a place of worship, ie by the roadside under a big tree etc. If the people bought the piece of land, get permit to build a temple ie do it the proper way, these issue might not have happen.

Hey what do you expect, these people are poor, and most of the time are illiterate. They wouldnt know better.
Why are they poor and marginalised in the first place?

Hindu Rights Action Force
No. 135-3-A, Jalan Toman 7,
Kemayan Square,
70200 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan
Malaysia. Tel : 06-7672995/6
Fax: 06-7672997 Email waytha@hotmail. com

The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown
Prime Minister of the United Kindom
10 Downing Street, Fax: +442079250918
London, URGENT

Dear Sirs,




We refer to the above critical matters in Malaysia but which generally gets the least attention locally even by the Opposition parties, NGO’s, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission and the media for this community is generally regarded as politically insignificant, do not draw local or international funding and are deemed not pressworthy. To the contrary the Malaysian government has successfully projected itself to the world as a modern Islamic thinking country which is not true.

The ethnic minority Indians in Malaysia were brought in to Malaysia by the British some 200 over years ago. Since independence in 1957 the Malaysian Indians have been permanently colonialised by the Islamic fundamentalist and Malay chauvinists UMNO led Malaysian government.

Among the recent atrocities committed by this government are as follows:-

1.100 over Indians were slashed and killed by the UMNO controlled Malaysian government in the Kampung Medan mini genocide. Despite numerous appeals, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission has refused to hold a Public Inquiry. The UMNO controlled Malaysian courts struck off a victim’s public interest civil suit for a Public Inquiry to be held without even the said UMNO controlled government having to file in their defence. The UMNO controlled Attorney General and the Inspector General of Police refused to investigate and / or initiate an inquest into the death of at least six Indians in this tragedy despite.

2. Every week one person at average is killed in a shot to kill policy and in every 2 weeks one person is killed in police custody. About 60% of these victims are Indians though they form only 8% of the Malaysian population.

3. In every three weeks one Hindu temple is demolished in Malaysia.

The latest being the demolishment of the Mariaman temple in Padang Jawa, Shah Alam, Selangor early this morning (15.11.2007) and the next being the (Mutaiya) Hindu temple in Sungai Petani scheduled for the 29.11.2007.

A violent armed pre down attack at 4.00a.m this morning was launched by the UMNO controlled Malaysian government backed by about 600 police, riot police, Islamic extremist and armed terrorists which completely destroyed this temple.

In an attack two weeks ago, uniformed police, riot police and city Council officers hurled rocks and attacked unarmed Hindu devotees with knives, sticks and iron rods.

At least 20 Hindu devotees were seriously injured and 19 arrested including 4 of their United Kingdom trained lawyers in direct violation of Article 5 (Right to life) Article 8 (Equality) Article 11 (Freedom of Religion) Section 295 (defiling a place of worship), Section 296 (disturbing a religious assembly), 298A(causing racial disharmony) and Section 441(criminal trespass) of the Malaysian Penal Code.

These authorities are plagued by an above the law mindset and in fact liberally take the law into their own hands. These atrocities however does not happen to almost all Islamic places of worship. Please visit www.policewatchmala for further and better particulars.

4. State sponsored direct discrimination against the Indians in Public University intakes, Indian (Tamil) Schools, skills training institutes, civil service and private sector job opportunities, business and license opportunities and in almost all other aspects of daily life.

Despite our hundreds of letters, appeals and pleas to the Malaysian King and Sultans, the Prime Minister, Attorney General, Inspector General of Police, Ministers, Chief Ministers and the latest being our letters to the Prime Minister dated 29.10.2007 and 30.10.2007 and to the Attorney General dated 1.11.2007 the Malaysian authorities are only proceeding with greater ferocity and with impunity with very little regard for the Federal Constitution and laws of Malaysia. So please help us.


We fear that this peace loving Indian community of Tamil origin having been pushed to the corner and the persecution getting worse by the day may be forced to into terrorism in a matter of time as what has happened to the Sri Lankan Tamils.


On our part we are committed to a peaceful and lawful struggle and pray and appeal that the Government of the United Kingdom:-

1. Moves an emergency United Nations resolution condemning these state sponsored atrocities and persecutions of Malaysian Indians in Malaysia.

2. Refers Malaysia to the World Court and the International Criminal Court for Crimes against it’s own ethnic minority Indians

Thank You,

Yours Faithfully

Legal Adviser

Friday, November 30, 2007

My Letter to PM in letter section in Malaysiakini

Just emailed to Malaysiakini yesterday, I gave different title, it has been edited and any reference to Musharraf's Pakistan has been removed.
I suppose its a bit too rough edged to compare Malaysia to Musharraf's Pakistan.

Shall reproduce it here?

Here we go.

Hindraf lawsuit makes no sense but...
Noor Hamzah
Nov 29, 07 5:27pm Adjust font size:

Dear Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi,

A day after the Hindraf rally, newspapers all over the world splashed pictures of a group of Malaysian “demonstrators” being sprayed by police water canons. I read it with concern that Malaysian authorities are coming down hard on innocent people whose only guilt was being Indian, walking in groups and chanting words that might not have been pleasant to our ears.

If this group only wanted to hand in their “papers” to British High Commission on a Sunday, I don’t see anything wrong with that. Freedom of speech and assembly is a fundamental component to democracy. If your government will not allow our people to exercise their rights then the people will not have an avenue to voice their concerns and highlight issues.

Worse still, you silence them because they are not represented in Parliament. Democracy is about the representation of the majority and if the minority is not represented, other avenues to voice their needs and rights must be established. In Western democracies, the mainstream media are normally free and fair and these can be the avenue for minorities.

Unfortunately, in Malaysia your ruling parties and cliques has a stranglehold on the mainstream media with strict instructions to only disseminate government propaganda. Your government has also controlled entries into the media industry via licencing and draconian laws such as the Printing Presses and Publications Act and the Sedition Act. These days savvy Malaysian can turn to online media like Malaysiakini, Harakah Daily as well as enthusiastic bloggers instead of government-controlled media.

Prime Minister, Hindraf may be racist in its make up and serves only the interest of Hindus. But you have to let them voice their concerns and opinions. Suing the Queen of England and the British government for neglecting the Indians in Malaysia may not make sense, particularly when the culprit who marginalised them for the past 50 years is the Malaysian government itself. But we must let them, if we want to boast that Malaysia is a free country.

There has been two huge gatherings this month. None of them intended to be a demonstration. If your government had let them do what they wanted to do - let Bersih hand in its petition to the Agong and allow Hindraf to submit theirs to British High Commission - the current consternation would not have arisen and your ruling coalition would not be under siege.

Prime Minister, it is time to do something before things slide from bad to worse. If I were you, I would announce the election date sooner rather than later. Let Malaysians concentrate their energy in the elections rather than on demonstrations.

Maybe it would be wise if your coalition deliberately loses this election. I believe Malaysians yearn for a change.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dear PM Abdullah Badawi, Please Dont Follow Musharraf

Dear Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi,

The day after the Hindraf rally, newspaper all over the world splashed pictures of a group of Malaysian 'demonstators' being sprayed with water by police. I read it with concern, that Malaysian authorities are coming down hard on innocent people whose only guilt was being Indian, walking in group and chanting words that might not be pleasant to our ears.

If these group only want to hand in their 'papers' to British High Commission, on a Sunday (which is a rest day), I dont see anything wrong with that, Prime Minister. In any democracy, freedom of speech, expression and gathering is a fundamental component to democracy itself. If your Government would not allow our people to exercise their rights, then the people would not have an avenue to voice their concern and highlight issues.
Worse still, you would silence them because they are not represented in Parliament. Democracy is about representation of majority, and if the minority is not represented, other avenues to voice their rights and needs must be established. In Western democracy, main media are normally free and fair, and these can be the venue for minorities.

Unfortunately, in Malaysia your ruling parties and cliques has a stranglehold on main media, with strict instruction only to disseminate 'propaganda' of the ruling parties and the government. Your government has also controlled entries into media industry my licensing and such draconian laws such as Publications Act, Sedition Act etc. These days savvy Malaysian turn to online media like Malaysiakini and Harakahdaily as well as enthusiastic bloggers instead of Government controlled media.

Prime Minister,
Hindraf maybe racist in its make up, and serves the interest of Hindus only. But you have to let them voice their concern and opinions.
Suing The Queen of England and The British Govt for neglecting the interest of Indians in Malaysia may not make sense, when the culprit who marginalise the Indians in Malaysia is the Malaysian Govt itself for the past 50 years, but we must let them if we want to boast the Malaysia is a free country.

There has been 2 huge gathering of people this month, and none of them was intended to be a demonstration. If your Government let them do what they want to do, ie let BERSIH hand in petition to Agong and Hindraf hand in their lawsuit to British High Commission, the current consternation would not have arise. Your ruling coalition would not be under siege.

Prime Minister,
Pervez Musharraf lose grip of Pakistan because he wanted a firm grip of Pakistan. Musharraf doesnt want to let Nawaz Sharif come back to Pakistan, then he sacked the top judges and thing started to slide from there.
Now Musharraf lost grip of Pakistan, all because he wanted to stay longer as President.

Prime Minister,
Its time to let go. Before thing slide to worse. You can see that Malaysian people take example from Pakistan, that if they organise properly and gather in huge numbers, the police would be overwhelmed.
And you would lose your credibility in the eyes of Malaysians.
Its better that you let go now before things get worse later.
If I were you, I would announce election day sooner rather than later. Let Malaysians concentrate their energy in election rather than gatherings and demonstrations.

Maybe it would be wise if your coalition would deliberately lose this election. I believe Malaysians would yearn for a change.

Yours Truly

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Cow System - continued

Friends added these, come on have a laugh.
I would love to see this in the blog roll in Malaysiakini. Take a break from reading those serious stuff in Malaysiakini.


You had two cows.You dressed one cow in habayah and the other in
G-string. Then you fed both cows with imported America-approved
fermented wheat. You hired a Russian cosmonaut to find out why your cows
behaved like drunks. The cosmonaut suggested that Earth's gravity and
environment were not suitable for your two cows. So, you bought a few
submarines in exchange for 2 seats on the Soyuz and off they went. Then,
you went on telling Muslims around the world that to progress is to buy
Russian submarines and send 2 cows to outer space.


You have 2 cows. You employ 2 Indonesians and a Bangladeshi to manage your cows. One Indonesian woman to clean the kandang, one Indonesian man milk the cows and the Bangladeshi to sell the milk to your neighbours. You still cant figure out why your 2 cows venture cant make profit. Someone suggested that you employ a Nepali to potong rumput to feed your cows, so that your cows will be well fed and produce more milk.


You have two cows. You create a website for them and advertise them in all the magazines. You create a Cow City or Milk Town for them. You sell off their milk before the cows have even been milked to both legit and shady investors who hope to resale the nonexistent milk for a 100% profit in two years time. You bring Tiger Woods to milk the cow first to attract attention.


You have two cows. They've been sitting there for decades and no one realized that cows could produce milk. You see what Dubai is doing; you go crazy and start milking the heck out of the cows in the shortest time possible. Then you realize no one wanted the milk in the first place.


Since milking the cow involves nipples the Gov't decides to ban all cows in public. The only method to milk a cow is to have a cow on one side of a curtain and a guy milking the cow on the other or to hire females and train them to milk the cows ... The debate is still going on.


You have two cows. Some high Gov't official steals one, milks it, sells the milk and pockets the profit. The Gov't tells you that there is just one cow and not enough milk for the people. The people riot and scream death to the Gov't and carry Iranian flags. The Parliament, after thinking for 11 month, decides to employ ten Bahrainis to all milk the cow at the same time and so cutting back on unemployment.


You have two cows. One is owned by Syria and the other is controlled by Hizbollah.


You have two cows. Both are voting for Mubarak!


You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. Later, you hire an Indian consultant to analyze why the cow dropped dead.


You have two cows. You go on strike because you wanted three cows.


You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 2 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.


You have two cows. Both are mad.

Malaysia a Police State.

I read this report in Malaysiakini today that the Yellow shirt campaigners from BERSIH has been harrassed by police in KL, while they were distributing pamphlets.

This mere reaffirm the fact that Malaysia is police state, and dissent is not tolerated.

Is that politically expedient? I mean this doesnt give positive image to Govt of Abdullah Badawi. Then this report in that there has been a police report against blogger Jeff Ooi.

Okay, okay you are free to make a police report against anyone on any matter. Malaysia is supposedly a FREE country. But tarnishing a country image?

If we are sooo concerned about our image, we must learn more how the world see us. And learn what would see us in bad light. An image of police brutality, anti riot police spraying water cannon on running civilian and authorities razing down people's homes is NOT positive at all.

Whatever the reason. Of course you have reasons that justify your actions.

Actually, if the police and Abdullah Badawi's Govt keep this up, sooner or later the rakyat would get fed up. By confronting the BERSIH and the Opposition, rounding them up and harrass them, the police is creating publicity and opening new avenues for BERSIH to complain further.
Sooner or later rakyat will support them.


Sympathy would side with the poor, oppressed and the have not.

If I were Abdullah Badawi, I would do my best to scrap that law that make assembly without permit illegal. And stop police brutality and harrassment.

The Cow System

This a good joke. Lets have a laugh shall we?
A friend posted this joke in group email. I had a good laugh over it. Possibly this is originated in Britain.


You have two cows. You create a website for them and advertise them in all the magazines. You create a Cow City or Milk Town for them. You sell off their milk before the cows have even been milked to both legit and shady investors who hope to resale the nonexistent milk for a 100% profit in two years time. You bring Tiger Woods to milk the cow first to attract attention.


You have two cows. They've been sitting there for decades and no one realized that cows could produce milk. You see what Dubai is doing; you go crazy and start milking the heck out of the cows in the shortest time possible. Then you realize no one wanted the milk in the first place.


Since milking the cow involves nipples the Gov't decides to ban all cows in public. The only method to milk a cow is to have a cow on one side of a curtain and a guy milking the cow on the other or to hire females and train them to milk the cows ... The debate is still going on.


You have two cows. Some high Gov't official steals one, milks it, sells the milk and pockets the profit. The Gov't tells you that there is just one cow and not enough milk for the people. The people riot and scream death to the Gov't and carry Iranian flags. The Parliament, after thinking for 11 month, decides to employ ten Bahrainis to all milk the cow at the same time and so cutting back on unemployment.


You have two cows. One is owned by Syria and the other is controlled by Hizbollah.


You have two cows. Both are voting for Mubarak!


You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. Later, you hire an Indian consultant to analyze why the cow dropped dead.


You have two cows. You go on strike because you wanted three cows.


You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 2 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.


You have two cows. Both are mad.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Kabus di Perbukitan - my brother's book

Telah Muncul di Pasaran!

Kabus di Perbukitan

Penulis: Mohamad Kholid Hamzah

Penerbit: DBP

No. KK: 899 205885101

No. ISBN: 9789836296436

Tahun Terbitan: 2007

Harga Buku: RM20.00


Pertemuan dan perpisahan memanglah takdir, namun hati yang terluka kadang-kadang sukar menerima. Kehilangan membawa resah berpanjangan, membawa diri mencari kedamaian hati dan cinta. Merentas dekad dan negara, cinta terpaut di bumi kiwi. Di situ kasih bercambah, di situ rindu melimpah. Hujan emas di negeri orang, namun tanah tumpah darah dan air mata mengamit jua. Faridah akur dengan runtunan jiwa, kembali menjejak bumi yang suku abad ditinggalkan, menautkan kasih antara dua negara. Dia berjanji pada tanah ini - susur galur - akar tunjang keturunan akan teguh. Dia pulang membina jati diri di tanah air sendiri. Dia bukan enggang, dia hanyalah bangau yang akhirnya pulang ke belakang kerbau."

A Government Brought Down by BLoggers

A Government brought down by Bloggers.

This hasn’t happen yet, not anywhere in the world, yet.

Researching from recent history, a Government that is not popular, ie not supported by the people, would not last long.
With exceptions:
Burma – The ruling military junta has ruled Burma for over 50 years. Then again the Burmese are Buddhists, and Buddhists are generally peaceful people. They don’t normally fight back.
North Korea – Cant say anything much here can we? Even though the people were starved to death in the 90s, and made to work and behave like slaves and robots, still there is no popular uprising that managed to topple the Government.
Cambodia under Pol Pot – Over a million of their citizens killed and tortured, yet their Asean neighbours just look on and preaching non interference, until Vietnam had enough of it and run them over. Thanks Vietnam!
Zimbabwe – The process is long and systematic, Zimbabwe was a rich country run to the ground by a crazy despot called Robert Mugabe. Yet because of their same black skinned, their neighbours keep making excuses and this and that reason for not interfering. Pity the people of Zimbabwe, abandoned by their neighbours, oppressed by their dictator.

Here are examples of Government brought down free media. The lesson here is to take control of the media, newspaper, television, radio, anything.

Spain, before 2004 Madrid train bombing was in the midst of election. Jose Maria Aznar was popular; his party was leading the opinion polls by a huge margin. Zapatero didn’t get much chance.
Then came the Madrid train bombing.
Zapatero won the Spanish election of 2004 by a landslide. What happen was that Aznar lied to the people that the train bombing was the work of ETA when it was AlQaeda linked.
What is the difference between us in Malaysia and Spain? Media in Spain is free. Ours in Malaysia is controlled by the ruling party. UMNO control some (Media Prima), MCA, MIC and Gerakan control others, ie Chinese, Tamil and English language papers. Is it the same in Sabah and Sarawak?

Look at Pakistan now. Eight years ago, Musharraf took power in Pakistan in a military coup, with the promise of cleaning up the systemic corruption and dismantling the ruling clique. Eight years on, he still clinging to power, so the people had enough. Look what happen today, Musharraf had a run in with the judiciary and the people took to the street demanding that he step down and hold free election. How many has the Pakistani military arrested in the past month? Just a few days ago Musharraf is saying he will step down in a month. (To get things in order and hold elections I suppose)

Fiji Military took over the Government in a coup d etat in December 2006, also with the promise of creating a free and fair system and getting rid of corrupt old men enriching themselves and impoverishing the country. One year on the job still not done and the military actions is more brutal towards its critics.

True that Malaysians had enough of the current Government but the Opposition has no history of ruling the country. So the majority of people would keep on voting the incumbent, especially with the political tactics of BN. Race and ethnicity would still be used as a tool.

The night before the BERSIH rally I was talking to a Malaysian on holiday here.

Life is difficult for average Malaysians, he said. The current monthly wage for factory worker is still around RM600 a month. Cost of living in cities is high. Most people couldn’t make end meet, let alone saving for their future. Inflation is high, every day food prices has risen sharply. Now the Govt is talking about removing the fuel subsidy. This was reported in Malaysiakini and just before the BERSIH rally.

For our average Malaysian workers, life is already difficult; they are working 50-60 hours a week yet could hardly make RM1000 a month even with lots of overtime. Their jobs are taken over by foreign workers who are made to work like slaves of a pittance.

For a country that sent a man to space we have people living in tents because their houses were razed by authorities. Whwere would you see these kind of reports? Malaysiakini and Malaysia-today of course. Not in the Govt muzzled media!

The big winners in the past economic expansions since 1970’s have always been the ruling elites, sharing with well connected businesspeople. The ruling UMNO, by virtue of their political power, hand out contracts and licenses to their coterie of well connected businesspeople (Chinese, Indians and Malays) who in turn would give kickbacks to their political masters. The cost of public works skyrocket, unnecessary and white elephant projects were built thus burdening the average Malaysians with more costs for generations in the future.

See this new book by a former aide to Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Abdul Razak, which basically exposed how things were done. Please read the full story here.

Don’t you think you have enough of these gerrymandering, corrupt practices and robbing the general public to enrich the connected elites?

BERSIH has sent a Memo to Agong, and that is a start.

As Ustaz Hasrizal says in article entry #1000 that we all have responsibility, not just amal maaruf but nahi munkar as well.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Unmaking of Malaysia

This article is in Malaysiakini. He is right, in my opinion.
Tackle poverty first, the people are the making of Malaysia, not big tall building or the longest bridges etc.

Ex-aide: Dr M impatient and aloof
Beh Lih Yi
Nov 13, 07 11:58am Adjust font size:

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad was an “aloof” person and a “man in a hurry,” wrote one of his former aides in a book which is to be launched tomorrow.

It is with this impatience that Mahathir, who became the country’s fourth prime minister in 1981, had disregarded rules and regulations and broke away from the pattern set by his predecessors.

“The whole structure was more or less dismantled starting with Mahathir,” said Ahmad Mustapha Hassan, the former premier’s ex-press secretary, who authored The Unmaking of Malaysia.

“There were checks and balances (in the system) during (second prime minister) Tun Abdul Razak’s time but come Mahathir, all of these were discarded. He was very impatient,” he told Malaysiakini in a recent interview.

Ahmad Mustapha, 71, had also served as the press secretary for the late Abdul Razak. The former’s book, which chronicles his experience working for the two statesmen, will be launched by ex-deputy premier Musa Hitam.

The 282-page book also draws a comparison between the leadership styles of Abdul Razak and Mahathir. It provides insights into how the political administration operated during their respective tenures, including the ‘modus operandi’ of businessmen lobbying for lucrative government projects.

Different personalities

Comparing the duo, Ahmad Mustapha said Abdul Razak (left) was a humble person who cared for the people, placing the eradication of poverty and promotion of unity as his top priorities.

“(Abdul) Razak was a working politician and not a feudal sultan who had come to receive homage from his subjects. He had come to know, understand and provide solutions for the problems faced by the ordinary rural people,” wrote Ahmad Mustapha in his book.

There were also different personality traits in the two leaders, he recounted during the interview.

“(Abdul) Razak listens to views. Every time we travelled overseas, he had breakfast together (with his officials) to discuss things, he was very comfortable being around people and his officials.

“Mahathir, would only have breakfast with his wife and would ask the officials to organise a meeting later to have a discussion and (he would) sit down (at this meeting) with a stern face. He is very aloof. He does not play sports and has no friends,” said the author.

Previously, Ahmad Mustapa, who is Mahathir’s nephew, ran into problems with his former boss and left his post to join national news agency, Bernama.

Quizzed on this, Ahmad Mustapha attributed it to the different visions shared by Mahathir and Abdul Razak.

“Mahathir had some ideas which were not in focus with what I had, such as on rural poverty,” he explained.

Pak Lah disappoints

In his book, Ahmad Mustapha also spoke about Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who succeeded Mahathir in 2003.

According to him, Abdullah had reverted back to Abdul Razak’s aim of tackling rural poverty.

“Abdullah had to embark on a mending mission as he inherited a country with a lopsided social and economic structure.

“He opted to go back to (Abdul) Razak’s original version of eradicating poverty first,” he wrote.

However, during the interview with malaysiakini, Ahmad Mustapha expressed disappointment with Abdullah. He said the premier had failed in his ‘mending mission’.

“He started off well, with catchphrases like ‘work with me’ but no action had been taken (since). Okay, we sent someone to space but what is there (in that)?

“I also thought he would spend more time in the country, particularly in rural areas. But no, he spends more time overseas,” he added.

Ahmad Mustapha also took a swipe at Abdullah’s economic policy, which had seen the birth of a series of economic corridors.

“You can’t expect (Abdullah’s son-in-law) Khairy (Jamaluddin) to advise Pak Lah (Abdullah)as he is urban-trained. Maybe there are various economic corridors (now) but they may just be election gimmicks,” he said.

Khairy, a 32-year-old Oxford graduate, was once touted by Mahathir as the country’s de facto prime minister.

An Open Letter from Beth Yahp to PM Abdullah

I saw this in Malaysia-today and letter section in Malaysiakini, top section at that.

Spot on I thought.


Dear Prime Minister Abdullah,

26 September 2007 saw two thousand lawyers "Walk for Justice" to defend the good name and protest the sliding standards of their profession. "When lawyers march," said Ambiga Sreenevasan, President of the Bar Council, "something must be wrong."

Last Saturday (10 November 2007), 40,000 people from all walks of life and all ages walked through rain-drenched Kuala Lumpur, skirting roadblocks, locked LRT stations, FRU batons, tear gas and water cannons, as well as weeks of misinformation and propaganda through the mainstream media and hacked alternative media. They marched to show their disappointment in the current electoral system and their hopes for reform.

Malaysian citizens travelled for hours through the night from all over the country to play cat-and-mouse in Kuala Lumpur with an intimidating array of security forces, whose role was clearly not to secure our safety.

I saw men armed only with shouted slogans beaten with batons and shields and thrown to the ground. I saw an old woman in a wheelchair halted by a barricade of troops, wielding a deafening siren at her ears. I saw a child clinging to his mother's shoulders being crushed back, and back. He looked terrified, and rightly so.

This was at Jalan Mahameru, not Masjid Jamek where, in spite of what IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan described as police "restraint" (Sunday Star, 11 Nov 2007), unarmed marchers, including journalists, were beaten, teargassed and bombarded by chemical-laced water cannons. At Jalan Mahameru, we faced two rows of riot police, smashing batons against their shields. I saw and photographed people dropping to the ground around me.

This should be the journalist's privilege, to be allowed to witness and report the uncensored fruits of that act of witness. But in this country, the journalists and their editors are not afforded even this, or any other kind of professional privilege, or protection, in order to carry out their jobs according to the Journalists' Code of Ethics. That is, among other things, to pursue factual accuracy and report objectively, without fear or favour.

Instead, journalism in Malaysia seems to be ruled by a Code of Fear and Favour. Here, our mainstream journalists and editors are directly or indirectly on the State's payroll, and therefore accountable to the State. Those who aren't are kept on a tight leash of precarious licences and legislation designed to pit self-censorship against financial ruin. Which the bosses will prioritise is a no-brainer.

It seems to me our media professionals do their best to navigate these treacherous waters, getting by in terms of professional pride through little acts of bravery, defiance and subterfuge. The travesty of it is that, in a true democracy, they shouldn't have to.

Our journalists and editors shouldn't have to find themselves in the pitiful position of being cowed mouthpieces of the State, obediently failing to report once a news blackout is ordered, or "reporting" factual inaccuracies of an astounding magnitude.

Like most of your state controlled media, Prime Minister Abdullah, yesterday's Sunday Star reported only the IGP's version of Saturday's events. Journalism 101 requires a range of eyewitnesses to describe an event objectively yet only your Ministers were allowed airtime; only aggrieved shopkeepers were interviewed and photos of traffic jams published, to support our Deputy PM's lament that the march only served to disrupt traffic, create loss of business and "mar the general perception others have of our society".

The police were depicted as being "forced" to use their batons, boots, shields, helmets, trucks, water cannons and helicopters against unarmed men, women and children (New Sunday Times, November 11, 2007).

This reconstruction of reality is one that I, and 40,000 other marchers, do not recognise. In spite of what we saw and experienced, we are told that we were only 4000 in number and that 245 of us were detained, as opposed to the 24 I later saw released at IPPK (Police Contingent Headquarters) , Kuala Lumpur. It was later reported in the NST (12 November 2007) that the majority of detentions were pre-emptive, taking place outside Kuala Lumpur the day before. The reasons for arrest included being in possession of yellow t-shirts and bandanas.

Yes, there were massive traffic jams in KL that day, and yes, I saw shopkeepers hurriedly pull down their shutters, but only when the FRU and police amassed in battle formation at Central Market. However, logic tells us that the traffic jams were caused by numerous police roadblocks and other hindrances to public transport as much as by our march, which was marshalled and orderly.

We were constantly told to keep to the pavements, not to throw rubbish or disrupt public property, and even not to trample on plants along our way. Many people stuck in jams wound down their windows as we passed, smiling and shaking our hands. Others looked annoyed, of course.

I'm sitting at my local late night kopi tiam as I write this. It's filled with college students chatting and watching football to go with their teh tarik and cigarettes. I can see how successful your media machinery is, Prime Minister, from what they say. They use the word "riots" to talk about the march, which even a police spokesman described as, for the most part, peaceful (RTM2 news, 10 November 2007).

This is no surprise given the propaganda clips that have been running as part of news bulletins on RTM1 and 2 for the past few months, intercutting flag-burning with demonstrators getting their heads bashed in. These, as any adman will confirm, effectively equate demonstrations of any sort with escalating acts of violence on both sides. "Ini bukan budaya kita," are the stern words of warning.

On TraxxFM, I've heard an odd and therefore oddly outstanding song about democracy being played frequently, a lullaby sung in a soothing paternal voice, about how taking democracy to the streets leads to a loss of self-respect and violence, which is not our way. This song is in stark contrast to the ones TraxxFM's hip and joking DJs usually play.

This psychological embedding seems odd, Prime Minister, in the year we celebrate our 50 years of Independence, which was won exactly by our forefathers taking their struggle for freedom, equality and justice to the streets, as well as the media and the discussion table. They did so peacefully then, as we did so last Saturday.

Prime Minister Abdullah, one of the reasons we marchers, men, women, children, and even incapacitated old folks, braved confrontation in the streets of Kuala Lumpur last Saturday was to call for "equal access to the media" as part of BERSIH's push for electoral reforms, including the use of indelible ink, clean electoral rolls and the abolition of untraceable postal votes.

I didn't wear yellow on the march because even though I'm a sympathiser with the struggle for electoral reform, I'm also a witness to both sides of the story. But I wore my yellow ribbon of "press freedom", proudly, even though I'm not a journalist. I'm still wearing it now, with the poignant realisation that I can only write this letter, without fear or favour, precisely because I'm not a mainstream Malaysian journalist. Of course, whether any of your editors will publish it or not is entirely a different matter.

That little scrap of ribbon, like the seemingly frail ribbon of marchers patiently weaving their way from all over the city to the Yang Di Pertuan Agong's palace last Saturday, is symbolic of something far larger and far more important than our aching legs or bruises or our shivers caused by sitting uncomplainingly in the rain while the leaders delivered our memorandum to the King.

It symbolizes what you have encouraged us repeatedly to celebrate and embrace: our "Merdeka Spirit" of independence that causes the rakyat to come out, in spite of fear and intimidation, to show their grave concern when the state of things seems very wrong indeed. This is, despite attempts at historical revisionism, a part of our Malaysian culture.

With all due respect, Prime Minister, your admonition on the eve of the march: "Saya pantang dicabar," (Utusan Malaysia, 9 November 2007) is rather an odd thing for the leader of a democratic nation to say, given that the basic rule of democracy is the right of all citizens to challenge, and to defend against challenge. Everyone is entitled to this right, whether in their living rooms or in Parliament.

Challenges and debates also constantly take place in the media, whose fundamental role is to provide factual information and objective viewpoints by journalists and editors, as well as to allow equal access to publication and broadcast by proponents from either side of any argument.

Only in this way can we, ordinary citizens, partake in democracy. Only then can we weigh up differing statements and opinions against accountable facts. We may be allowed to vote, yes, but how can we choose effectively without freedom of media access and information?

When this integral pillar of any democratic system is obstructed, and belittled, as it is in Malaysia, we cannot claim to live in a democracy. Our mainstream media then becomes merely a tool of the State, used to hoodwink, brainwash and intimidate the people it should rightly be serving. Instead, we, the people, are spoon-fed, led and expected to go quietly like sheep to any foregone conclusion.

If we beg to differ, offer alternative information and viewpoints, or even protest, we are called beruk. I rather think it preferable to be a monkey, curious, inventive and mischievous, than a sheep trotting meekly to my pen, or the slaughterhouse, nose pointed to the ground.

Prime Minister, we are indeed not Pakistan or Myanmar, as your Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin blustered on Al Jazeera (10 November 2007), accusing them of presenting a contrary view to what has appeared on our Malaysian news, and of only talking to the opposition, not our Government representatives— even as they were interviewing him.

This is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, since almost no opposition figures are allowed to speak in our mainstream media, although their images are used in conjunction with images of street violence, for example, to influence viewers' opinions about them.

"Malaysia… is a democratic country," Zainuddin fumed. But based on your State's handling of the rakyat's peaceful march last Saturday, Prime Minister, and your own media coverage prior to and about the actual event, it's hard to entirely agree.

Unfortunately for Malaysia, this is the perception that will be further broadcast internationally, by journalists and editors who are fortunately less muzzled than their mainstream Malaysian colleagues.

Therefore, Prime Minister Abdullah, I sincerely urge you and your Government, as our democratically elected leaders, to "walk the talk" and unmuzzle our journalists, editors and broadcasters. I entreat you to fully and fairly endorse and practice democracy in our country. That is, democracy for everyone, not just a powerful few.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Beth Yahp

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I have seen many protests...

Living in a Western country, I have seen many protests. At worse they are noisy, and they could be a nuisance outside your property if you are the target.

Protest and pickets are part and parcel of Western democracy. Their purpose is to highlight issues.

Workers usually set up picket lines and protest outside factory gates to protest low wages or unfair working conditions.

So what is wrong with people protesting issues that close to their heart?

If thousands of Malaysians march to Istana Negara to hand in petition for better, fair and just election, so be it. They are highlighting issues that is close to our heart.

Why is it that Abdullah Badawi Govt do not tolerate dissent and protest? See this report in Malaysiakini which is rather pathetic in my opinion.

This gives the image that our country, our people are autocratic types. We dont work on consensus, we drown dissenting voice.

If the Cabinet is full of yes-man, and the country is ruled dictatorial style, do you think foreign investors would want to invest in Malaysia?

Believe me, any sign of rigid dictatorial governing style would be enough for foreign money to start flowing out.

Look at Zimbabwe, doesnt Robert Mugabe always won the elections? Technically, Mugabe is elected, hence Zimbabwe is a democracy..BUT..

Read this report in The Star, why is it illegal for people to gather in the first place? Isnt that law remind you of a country behind the 'Iron Curtain'?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Transcript of Zam's Interview with AlJazeera

Photo courtesy of Sagaladoola.

Here is the transcript of Zam's interview with AlJazeera.

Well its okay being a Menteri and not understanding or cannot speak English.

Can I suggest that Zam speak in Bahasa Malaysia instead? And use interpreter..

Zam oh Zam.....Elok pi sekolah belajar English.

Al Jazeera:: Why are protesters being sprayed with Chemical filled water?
Zainuddin Maidin : I am watching, I hear. It is not as what you have been trying to do this, to do it everywhere but in Malaysia people are laugh you, We know our Police at last have allowed this procession to go to Istana Negara you know. Do Police, First Police might be have handled them with tear gas. Police don't, don't fire anybody.

Al Jazeera: Our correspondent came back to our office with chemicals in his eyes
Zainuddin Maidin : This is the way, your idea is that what you are trying to project what is your mind, you think we are Pakistan, we are Burma, we are Myanmar. Your thinking

Al Jazeera: Well unfortunately when you refused to let people to protest, it does appear so
Zainuddin Maidin: That is why we are not like you. That is why you have early perception. You come here and you want to project us as like undemocratic country. This is a democratic country.

Al Jazeera: So why can't people protest then if it is a democratic country?
Zainuddin Maidin: First people protest. We are allowing protest and they have demonstrated. But when we try to disperse them, and then later when they don't want to disperse. But later our Police compromise. They have compromised and allowed then to proceed to Istana Negara. Police, our Police have succeeded in handling them gently, right? Why don't you report that and you take the opposition, someone from the opposition party, you asked him to speak and you don't take from the Government, right

Al Jazeera: Why did you not break up these protesters more peacefully?
Zainuddin Maidin: Pardon, pardon

Al Jazeera: Why did you not break up these protests more peacefully?
Zainuddin Maidin: I can't hear you. I can't hear you.

Al Jazeera: Why did you not break up these protests more peacefully?
Zainuddin Maidin: No, we are, first this is illegal. We don't want, normally this demonstration. .

Al Jazeera: : OK, let me return to my former question: why is the protest illegal?
Zainuddin Maidin: Yeah it is illegal. First is because (Why?) we have the election in Malaysia. No point of having a protest. We are allowing, we have an election every five years, never fail. We are not like Myanmar, not like other country. And you are helping these. You at Al Jazerra is also helping these, these forces. You know these forces who are not impatient, who don't believe in democracy

Al Jazeera: Many thanks for joining us.

= == = = == = = = Bernama's account of the phone in interview

November 10, 2007 20:41 PM
Zam Refutes Al Jazeera's Claim Police Used Force On Protesters
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 (Bernama) -- Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin has refuted satellite television station Al Jazeera's claim that police had used force on hundreds of protesters here today. He told the station that police had tried to disperse the protesters by using water cannons as the gathering was illegal. "When they refused to disperse, the police allowed them to march to Istana Negara to hand over a memorandum demanding for a clean and fair election. "The police managed to handle the situation as best they could," he said over the phone in a live interview by Al Jazeera here.

He was responding to the illegal assembly organised by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections or " Bersih" comprising 26 non-governmental organisations and which also involved opposition parties, to hand over the memorandum containing their demands, to Istana Negara. Asked why Malaysia did not allow such gatherings, Zainuddin said they were unnecessary because general elections had been held without fail in this country and according to the scheduled dates. The minister also hit out at Al Jazeera for having the wrong perception when posing questions. Al Jazeera reporters had their own perceptions about Malaysia before coming here, he said, adding that " Malaysia is not Myanmar or Pakistan; it is a democratic country".
Zainuddin said many television viewers in Malaysia were laughing at the antics of the Al Jazeera reporter who seemed to be trying to portray the situation as ugly.

"The reporter was seen shouting, so much so the situation seemed unreal to the viewers." He also criticised Al Jazeera for only interviewing journalists known to be pro-opposition but not getting the government's views

Sunday, November 11, 2007

BERSIH rally; We should all know what this petition is about.

Memorandum kepada DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Dipertuan Agung


Gabungan Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil

Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections



10 November 2007

1. BERSIH adalah sebuah jawatankuasa gabungan yang terdiri daripada organisasi-organisasi masyarakat sivil dan parti-parti politik dengan matlamat utama untuk memperjuangkan pilihanraya yang bebas dan adil di Malaysia.

2. Hanya menerusi pilihanraya yang bebas dan adil sahajalah, rakyat Malaysia mampu untuk menentukan nasib mereka sendiri Malaysia dan mengharapkan mereka yang menjawat jawatan-jawatan awam untuk bertindak dengan pertanggungjawaban dan berkesan. Selagimana, rakyat tidak mempunyai kuasa untuk menyingkir golongan jahat dalam pemerintahan negara, maka selagi itulah harapan untuk mendaulatkan undang-undang, melindungi hak asasi manusia, mengadakan urus-tadbir kerajaan yang baik dan menggalakkan pembangunan rakyat yang berterusan/lestari akan terus tertakluk kepada budibicara ahli politik yang mempunyai kepentingan peribadi. Matlamat utama untuk menukar kerajaan hari ini adalah merupakan kunci ‘semak dan imbang’ dalam menentang penyalahgunaan kuasa pemerintah.

3. Adalah amat malang bagi Malaysia kerana walaupun sudah 50 tahun merdeka, ternyata Malaysia masih gagal untuk mengendalikan proses pilihanraya yang bebas dan adil. Kesimpulan ini bukan sahaja dipersetujui oleh masyarakat sivil, parti-parti politik dan pemerhati antarabangsa, malah ia juga diakui sendiri oleh Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya. Selepas pilihanraya umum pada bulan Mac 2004 yang dihantui oleh pelbagai penyelewengan dan kontroversi yang jauh lebih serius daripada pilihanraya-pilihanraya sebelumnya, maka, beliau merasakan perlu dan setuju dengan tuntutan awam untuk menjalankan penyiasatan bebas. Namun, amat mengecewakan penyiasatan bebas tersebut akhirnya tidak dijalankan.

4. Proses pengendalian pilihanraya yang tidak telus ini menimbulkan pelbagai persoalan khususnya persoalan terhadap kuasa mutlak badan pemerintah negara ini. Keadaan sebegini jika dibiarkan berterusan akan membawa petanda yang buruk untuk masa depan masyarakat dan boleh memusnahkan keutuhan sistem politik negara kita. Ini dapat dilihat pada negara-negara yang telah mengalaminya iaitu Thailand, Filipina dan Taiwan. Oleh yang demikian, BERSIH merasakan adalah perlu bagi semua rakyat Malaysia berganding bahu dan menggembleng tenaga untuk membawa perubahan yang menyeluruh dalam proses pilihanraya yang mendatang. Justeru, kami mencadangkan agenda perubahan jangka-panjang dan tiga sasaran kerja dengan segera.

5. Dalam masa jangka-panjang yang akan membatasi batas pilihanraya akan datang, BERSIH yakin dan percaya bahawa kelapan-lapan aspek ini perlu dikaji dan diperbaharui secara keseluruhannya:

a. Sistem pilihanraya:

i. Adalah perlu untuk memperbetulkan ketidakseimbangan yang tinggi antara undian rakyat dan kerusi yang dipertandingkan dalam pilihanraya, dimana undi sebanyak 64% boleh diterjemahlkan kepada 91% kerusi bagi parti pemerintah. Ini adalah kerana berteraskan kepada prinsip asas ‘First-Past-The-Post’ atau ‘Yang-Pertama-Melepasi-Tiang’ dan juga manipulasi menerusi pembahagian kawasan pilihanraya yang bericirikan ‘agihan-timpang’ dan ‘curang’ atau ‘tipu-belit’.

ii. Adalah perlu untuk memperkenalkan satu sistem yang menyenaraikan semua perwakilan parti, supaya jumlah minima 30% perwakilan wanita di parlimen terjamin.

iii. Adalah perlu untuk memperkenalkan semula pilihanraya tempatan dengan sistem pilihanraya yang lebih adil, termasuk memberikan ruang yang lebih kepada penglibatan wanita dan kelompok terpinggir dalam masyarakat.

b. Pentadbiran pilihanraya:

i. Adalah perlu untuk merubah Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya sekarang yang ternyata gagal untuk bertindak sebagai sebuah institusi yang bebas dengan bergerak ke arah struktur perwakilan pelbagai parti sebagaimana yang dipraktikkan di negara-negara yang mengamalkan demokrasi

ii. Memperuntukkan undang-undang yang berkaitan dengan hak pemerhati-pemerhati antarabangsa dan tempatan

c. Penamaan calon dan parti - bahawa ketimpangan ini mesti diperbetulkan:

i. Kuasa berasaskan budibicara yang diberikan kepada Pendaftar Pertubuhan menyebabkan keputusan berkaitan pendaftaran dibuat secara sewenang-wenagnya. Ini dapat dilihat dalam kes Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) dan Malaysian Dayak Congress (MDC);

ii. Keputusan berat sebelah dan sewenang-wenang oleh Pegawai Pengurus Pilihanraya yang akhirnya menggugurkan kelayakan calon-calon pembangkang adalah tidak adil;

iii. Klausa kontroversi yang membenarkan calon menarik diri selepas penamaan yang akhirnya membawa kepada pertuduhan rasuah dan kemenangan tanpa bertanding yang menyangsikan.

iv. Wang deposit pilihanraya yang tertinggi di dunia yang secara langsung menghalang penyertaan warga Malaysia yang kurang sumber kewangannya, termasuk golongan wanita dan beberapa kumpulan terpinggir dalam masyarakat.

d. Kempen pilihanraya – Peruntukan undang-undang bagi perkara-perkara berikut:

i. Menetapkan satu tempoh berkempen wajib yang jauh lebih panjang daripada tempoh 8 hari berkempen dalam pilihanraya lepas yang nyata tidak bermakna langsung;

ii. Memberikan hak kebebasan bersuara dan berkumpul yang sebenar-benarnya sebagaimana yang telah diperuntukkan dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia;

iii. Pengawalan secara berkesan dan menyeluruh dalam proses pembiayaan kos untuk berkempen untuk membendung amalan rasuah

iv. Pertimbangan untuk mengadakan pembiayaan awam bagi kos berkempen kepada parti-parti politik khususnya bagi calon wanita, kumpulan-kumpulan terpinggir dalam masyarakat dan latihan yang mesra gender.

e. Media;

i. Merombak undang-undang yang sedia ada yang telah membolehkan media cetak dan penyiaran dimonopoli oleh para proksi Barisan Nasional

ii. Peruntukan undang-undang bagi membolehkan semua parti politik mendapat akses atau capaian percuma kepada TV dan radio awam serta akses secara adil (percuma atau berbayar) kepada media swasta

iii. Peruntukan undang-undang bagi menjamin hak semua parti politik dan calon untuk menjawab segala bentuk tuduhan dan kritikan ke atas mereka menerusi media.

f. Kerajaan Sementara atau Caretaker

i. Bahawa kerajaan lama adalah dilarang sama sekali untuk membuat sebarang polisi atau keputusan berkaitan dengan pembangunan bilamana Parlimen atau Dewan Undangan Negeri dibubarkan.

ii. Bahawa menyalahgunakan semua sumber dan instrumen negara bagi tujuan memenangi pilihanraya atau untuk kepentingan parti adalah merupakan kesalahan jenayah

iii. Bahawa penyediaan dan penyemakan daftar pemilih perlu dibuat secara telus dan tertakluk kepada semakan kehakiman

g. Daftar Pemilih:

i. Bahawa daftar pemilih perlu dikemaskinikan dan tepat, untuk mengelakkan (i) penyingkiran dan pemindahan secara tidak sukarela para pengundi yang sah dan (ii) penyamaran dan pengundian berganda oleh ‘pengundi hantu’.

ii. Bahawa semua rakyat yang layak mengundi perlu secara automatik didaftarkan sebagai pengundi.

h. Undi:

i. Melaksanakan penggunaan dakwat kekal (indelible ink) untuk menghalang pengundian berganda;

ii. Memansuhkan sistem pengundian pos kecuali untuk para diplomat dan pengundi yang berada di luar negara memandangkan pertanggungjawaban dan kerahsiaan amat terancam dalam amalan semasa

6. Untuk jangka terdekat, BERSIH telah menyeru kepada Pengerusi dan Setiausaha Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya (SPR), Tan Sri Abd. Rashid bin Abd. Rahman dan Datuk Kamaruzaman bin Mohd Noor untuk melaksanakan empat pembaharuan yang diperlukan dan boleh dilaksanakan serta-merta:

(a) penyemakan semula daftar pemilih yang lengkap demi memastikan segala kesalahan dan ketimpangan yang sedia ada dapat dihapuskan;

(b) penggunaan dakwat kekal untuk menghalang pengundian berganda;

(c) pemansuhan sistem pengundian pos kecuali untuk para diplomat dan pengundi lain di luar negara; dan

(d) akses media yang adil kepada semua pihak dalam pilihanraya.

Malangnya, setakat ini, pihak SPR cuma bersetuju dengan satu permintaan iaitu penggunaan dakwat kekal.

7. Dalam menjalankan kempen kesedaran di seluruh Negara, BERSIH telah berhadapan dengan satu tragedi sehingga pihak berkuasa menggunakan senjata dan menembak orang awam dengan peluru hidup. Peristiwa ini berlaku di Pantai Batu Burok, Kuala Terengganu pada 9hb September lalu. Bahkan, BERSIH dilontarkan tohmahan sebagai memulakan satu rusuhan. Penyiasatan bebas juga tidak dijalankan oleh badan-badan yang dipertanggungjawabkan.

8. Kami memohon Ke Bawah Duli Tuanku agar Tuanku akan

Menyuarakan kehendak rakyat menuntut pembaharuan pilihanraya termasuk mengutarakan cadangan untuk sebuah Suruhanjaya diRaja untuk mengkaji pembaharuan sistem and proses pilihanraya.
Menggunakan kuasa Tuanku di bawah Perkara 40(2), Perlembagaan Persekutuan, untuk menolak apa jua permintaan untuk membubar Parlimen selagi empat pembaharuan serta-merta di atas tidak dilaksanakan.

Ditandatangani oleh organisasi-organisasi berikut:

Parti Politik:

1. Parti Keadilan Rakyat (People’s Justice Party) (KeADILan)

2. Democratic Action Party (DAP)

3. Parti Islam SeMalaysia (Malaysian Islamic Party) (PAS)

4. Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Malaysian Socialist Party) (PSM)

5. Sarawak Nation Party (SNAP)

Pertubuhan Bukan Kerajaan:

Save Ourselves (SOS Penang)
Tamil Foundation
Group of Concerned Citizens (GCC)
Citizens’ Health Initiative (CHI)
Aliran (reform movement for justice, freedom and solidarity)
Writers’ Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (Oppressed People’s Network) (JERIT)
Pusat Janadaya (EMPOWER)
Community Action Network (CAN)
Persatuan Kebangsaan Hak Asasi Malaysia (Malaysian National Society for Human Rights ) (HAKAM)
Malaysian Youth and Students Democratic Movement (DEMA)
Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC)
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Voice of the Malaysian People) (SUARAM)
Labour Resource Centre (LRC)
Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (Social Communications Centre) (KOMAS)
Civil Rights Committee of the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (CRC-KLSCAH)
Persatuan Ulama Malaysia (Malaysian Ulama Association) (PUM)
Women’s Development Collective (WDC)
ERA Consumer
Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
Unit Pemikiran Politik, Institut Kajian Dasar (Political Thought Unit, Policy Research Institute) (UPP-IKD)
Malaysian Voters’ Union (MALVU)
All-Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam SeMalaysia (Malaysian Islamic Students’ Coalition) (GAMIS)
Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)
Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (Malaysian Students’ Solidarity) (SMM)
Gerakan Anti Korupsi (GERAK)
Citizen Think Tank
Police Watch Committee

You can find these report in Malaysiakini or its website and

Dont look in Malaysai Govt website, or Malaysia Govt afiliated newspaper and website. You wont find it.

BERSIH rally, Do Abdullah Badawi have a choice?

I dont think Govt of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi have a choice at all.

They have to let the marchers proceed, with minimal incident as possible.
Maybe the incident at Masjid Jamek was a test, and soon word from the top, ie PM is that 'Dont harm the marchers.'

( even though yesterday, Friday he day he would come down hard on the marchers.)

As I said in my posting yesterday, any bloodshed in that vicinity of Dataran Merdeka, Masjid India etc will remind the whole nation of Reformasi of 1998.
And this time, thanks to superb organisational skills and internet, all eyes are on Malaysia.

If there was bloodshed, this would confirm to the world, and the people of Malaysia that Malaysia is ruled by a dictator who masquerade in the name of democracy.

Tell us about 'free and fair' election in Pakistan a month or so back.

Well, that was just an example. Zimbabwe, Iraq during Saddam, Fiji...

Pictures from BERSIH rally, as posted in the net.

Its amazing the power of the people.

Government linked newspaper doesnt carry news on the BERSIH march, nor Govt linked newspaper websites.
Govt linked TV stations? No hope. These kind of news wouldnt get a mention, not even in the footnotes.

Yet the call to march for FREE election is loud and clear through Opposition websites. Free news website Malaysiakini has been down for some of the day, due to heavy load. The march news took centre stage in Malaysiakini. The only avenue they can call people to march.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Road to Dictatorship - Malaysia

The writing is on the walls...

First, the concentration of power to one group of people, first UMNO/BN and then the Prime Minister's family.

Then the concentration of wealth and hence power to the powerful and rich, notably UMNO/Barisan cliques.

There has been a series of stupid, discriminating and 'kuku besi' style laws that increase the hold of the powerful over the masses.

And dissent and debate is discouraged and punishable by law.

And now people are not allowed to walk from Dataran Merdeka to Istana Negara to present their signatures to the King.


There are examples from around the world, which I am sure that the 'power that be' are quick to learn.

Fiji, Pakistan, Iraq during Saddam, Algeria, Tunisia...

Today, Saturday 10th November could be the day that changed the written history of our country.

BERSIH wants to hold a rally to present petition to the King, but Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wants none of it.

What would happen? After all, the police has started mounting roadblocks around KL as reported by Malaysiakini.

Let say that today BERSIH would managed to garner 100,000 people to converge in Dataran Merdeka, let say they all somehow managed to slip pass police roadblock and turn up at Dataran Merdeka.
Would the police and FRU come on hard on their own people?

Let say they do, and a few people lost their lives in the process...
Story from Myanmar is just fresh in our memories just a months ago.

Let say the police changed their stance and join the people instead, march along with the people and present the petition to the King.
Which I secretly hope they would.
That remind me of Georgia less than a year ago.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Anwar Ibrahim's Letter

Quick Links
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KeADILan website

LIVE-Blogging from Bersih rally

Surprise Surprise!
I received an email from Anwar Ibrahim today!
This letter is about tomorrows gathering at Dataran Merdeka as I saw in Malaysiakini.
So whats going to happen if police arrest all those who attend?

Are we moving towards dictatorship as in Pakistan?

Regular updates from Bersih rally

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November 9, 2007
From the
Office of Anwar Ibrahim
Salam sejahtera Saudara/Saudari

Perubahan Sistem Pilihanraya dan Masa Hadapan Malaysia

Hak untuk mendapatkan sebuah sistem pilihanraya yang bersih dan adil adalah merupakah hak demokratik yang dimiliki segenap lapisan rakyat Malaysia. Rakyat Malaysia mempunyai, secara sah disisi undang-undang untuk memperolehi hak ini, juga melaksanakan dan mengubah sebarang bentuk elemen sistem tersebut sebagai satu mesej kepada kerajaan untuk mengubah sistem pilihanraya yang jelas kelihatan korup dan hanya memihak kepada pihak-pihak yang mempunyai kepentingan dan kuasa.

Perhimpunan rakyat yang dijadualkan berlangsung pada 10hb. November 2007 di Kuala Lumpur menunjukkan bahawa ia merupakan satu langkah di dalam kempen rakyat untuk mengubah sistem dan mengawalselia proses pilihanraya daripada korupsi dan sebarang bentuk penipuan.

Rakyat yang bakal menghadiri perhimpunan tersebut mewakili masyarakat Malaysia yang peka bahawa demokrasi tidak akan hadir semudah disangka. Hak asasi kita untuk diperintah oleh kelompok yang bebas dan bermoral adalah satu hak yang kadangkala memerlukan pengorbanan besar dan keupayaan untuk berhadapan dengan sebarang bentuk intimidasi dan kesukaran.

Saya ingin merakamkan setinggi penghargaan kepada penganjur perhimpunan ini atas keupayaan kepimpinan dan visi mereka yang begitu cemerlang untuk merealisasikan perhimpunan ini.

Saya juga merakamkan rasa terharu ke atas ribuan rakyat yang merantau dari seluruh pelusuk negara untuk melaksanakan hak demokratik mereka untuk berhimpun secara aman dan menyatakan pendirian mereka.

Negara kita sudah berada di satu persimpangan. Untuk meneruskan keadaan yang parah ini hanya akan menyaksikan rakyat terus dinafikan hak dan dicabul maruahnya. Generasi terdahulu sebelum kita menggesa kita supaya berubah dan memperjuangkan nilai-nilai di mana negara akan terus kekal berdiri dengan prinsip perpaduan, kesaksamaan dan keadilan.

Generasi yang bakal mengikuti jejak langkah kita kelak akan menoleh sejarah dan mengiktiraf pejuang-pejuang rakyat yang berhimpun pada 10hb. November dan memperjuangkan hak yang sekian lama dirampas daripada rakyat.

Justeru, saya menggesa seluruh rakyat Malaysia tanpa mengira kepercayaan, bangsa, agama dan ideologi politik untuk menyertai pergerakan ini dan hadir menyatakan sokongan pada Sabtu, 10 November 2007 di Dataran Merdeka.

Bersama kita menggarap usaha ke arah Malaysia yang lebih baik!



Electoral reform and the future of Malaysia

The right to free and fair elections is a democratic right to which the people of Malaysia are entitled. The Malaysian people have, in lawful pursuit of this right, exercised and exhausted all means of recourse to petition their government to reform an electoral system that is visibly corrupt and beholden to vested interests and the powers that be.

The rally that is scheduled to take place on November 10th in Kuala Lumpur represents the next step in our campaign to reform the system and safeguard the electoral process from fraud and corruption.

Those who attend the rally represent a vanguard of Malaysian society who realise that democracy does not come served on a silver platter. Our basic right to be governed by people who are just and of sound moral character is a right that sometimes requires great sacrifice and courage in the face of intimidation and adversity.

I commend the organizers of the rally for their leadership and visionary thinking in bringing this event to fruition.

I also applaud the thousands who are traveling to our nation's capital to exercise their democratic right to peaceful assembly and free expression.

Our nation has reached a crossroads. To continue along the current trajectory is to ensure our continued decline and to rob us of our dignity as a people. The legacy of our founding fathers urges us to change and to reclaim the values upon which the nation was founded - unity, equity and justice.

The generations who follow ours will look back in history and glorify those patriots who were steadfast on November 10th to reclaim the rights that have been usurped from us all.

I therefore urge all Malaysians of conscience, irrespective of race, national origin, religion or political affiliation to join this movement and to appear on Saturday in Merdeka Square. Let us work together for a better Malaysia.