Pak Lah (right) and Najib: Foreign Minister Rais Yatim spoke at the UN general Asswmbly, 2008.
Don't meddle, Rais tells US at UN assembly BERNAMA
NEW YORK: Malaysia has voiced concern at the United Nations over recent attempts by the United States to question its national law and administration of justice.
"We could, if we choose to, question the legal basis of Guantanamo Bay detentions without trial, but we did not as we do not question societal behaviour in other jurisdictions," Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said.
Rais was speaking at the 63rd general assembly of the world body on Saturday, in place of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who had cancelled his trip here.
"It needs to be restated -- we have no right to meddle, in any form of manifestation or under any pretext or circumstances, in the conduct of the internal affairs of other countries," Rais said.
Washington has warned Malay- sia against any "politically-motivated" investigation or prosecution of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, saying that the rule of law had to stand above politics.
Anwar, who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser, has been charged with sodomising a former male aide.
Rais said certain societal behaviour might be acceptable in one country or region but not in another. For example, while "same-sex marriages are acceptable in California", sodomy is a crime in many Asian countries.
Rais said democracy in Malaysia remained vibrant and progressive and that the rule of law via Parliament remained central to its existence as a sovereign and independent nation.
He also compared the present financial crisis suffered by the United States to the Asian financial crisis in 1997.
"The troubles of Asian companies then were the result of outside forces while the present troubles of US financial companies are entirely their own doing.
"It is to be asked, why were the actions taken by the governments of Asia, in particular that of Malaysia, to save our own companies a decade ago deemed so wrong while the present bailout of US financial companies is deemed right?"
In Washington, the US Congress and the Bush administration are negotiating a US$700 billion (RM2,404 billion) rescue plan for its ailing financial sector, the largest bailout since the Great Depression.
The rescue plan would give Washington the power to purchase bad mortgage-related assets from US financial institutions over the next two years.
Rais also urged the Security Council to immediately resolve the problem of piracy in international waters in which Malaysia and several other countries had become victims.
He expressed Malaysia's hope that the littoral states in the Gulf of Aden, where two Malaysian vessels were hijacked by pirates, would provide the means to ensure the security of navigation in their waters. -- Bernama (NST Online 29 Sept 08)
Comment: We wonder how many will ever listen when small countries like Malaysia speak at the UN General Assembly. Dato' Seri Dr. Rais Yatim, who spoke on behalf of the Deputy Prime Minister, jealously guarded Malaysia's laws and blasted USA for interfering. Could anyone tell us whether there was "anyone" from the US delegation present when Rais delivered the speech.
So to make up the numbers, it is highly proper that Malaysia just sent her Foreign Minister to the annual UN Asembly. At least Malaysia can save some financially.
Acting Gerakan President Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon addressing the Federal Territory delegate Conference in KL, yesterday (pix by Utusan Malaysa)
Sunday September 28, 2008 MYT 5:44:38 PM Gerakan mulls quitting Barisan, may join Pakatan By LISA GOH
KUALA LUMPUR: Gerakan is considering the option of leaving Barisan Nasional and joining the Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance.
Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said this was among three options for the party - the other two being to either stay with the ruling coalition, or leave and become independent.
“We are not ruling out any possibility at this moment. We have to assess the situation, but we are not closing any doors.
“Neither are we saying we will definitely leave. It’s something we need to assess but we cannot do it based on sentiments alone,” he told reporters after launching the KL-Federal Territory (FT) state delegates conference here on Sunday.
Dr Koh said the party was examining how the political scenario in the country would continue to change, and had been getting feedback from the grassroots.
“If you go on sentiments alone, I would say more than 60% (want us to leave), but we are taking a lot of factors into consideration, and a decision cannot be based just on sentiments.
“It’s a very trying time, and there is need for a lot of rational, objective analysis. It cannot be a straightforward simplistic decision,” he said.
In his opening speech, Dr Koh also announced that he would be contesting for the president’s post in the October party elections.
“I am offering myself for the post, but I also set a timeframe for myself, and it is unlikely that I will go beyond two terms. I would like to have younger and newer leaders to continue the process of political commitment,” he said.
Asked if he would name his deputy, he replied: “We will let the delegates decide.”
He was also asked to comment on some 20 FT Gerakan members who had defected to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), including former FT Gerakan information bureau chief Gan Kok Keng and former Setiawangsa Gerakan chief Li Tiam Chai.
“I feel surprised because it was only last week when Li Tiam Chai was with me in a meeting and there were no signs that he was not happy.
“We were talking about how to strengthen the party. So I am surprised but I will continue with the veterans, and new members are committed,” he said.
Dr Koh also commented on the Umno leadership transition, which he hoped would be “smooth and peaceful.”
“Even though the change in Umno leadership is an internal party matter, but we are also concerned because the Umno leader also becomes the leader of Barisan and the Federal Government,” he said.
Earlier this month, Gerakan became embroiled in the controversy over former Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail’s alleged racist remarks in which he purportedly described Malaysian Chinese as “squatters.”
Gerakan leaders had demanded an apology and for action to be taken against the Umno man, who in turn blamed Gerakan for Barisan’s poor showing in the March 8 general election, which saw the state of Penang fall to to the opposition.
The war of words even saw Ahmad’s supporters tearing down a picture of Dr Koh after a press conference.
The Umno Supreme Council subsequently suspended Ahmad from his party posts for three years, although he remains a member. No further action was taken against him. (The Star Online, 28 Sept 08).
Comment: Remember Lim Chong Eu, who left MCA to form Gerakan and later became the first gerakan Chief Minister in Pulau Pinang. now the party under Tan Sri Tan Tsu Koon mulls to quit BN for another coalition group The Pakatan Rakyat or becomes independent. Leaving BN is an option, which it seems to be the mood at the grass root levels.
Well, nothing is permanent in politics. Who would have thought the once powerful Deputy Prime Minister, for instance, is now the leader of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat. Nobody would believe then Abdullah Badawi would become the prime minister after Tun mahathir Mohamad. Yes, everything is possible in politics as what most analysts say politics is an art of possiblities.
If gerakan leaves BN for Pakatan Rakyat, would there be any gain for Pakatan Rakyat, especially in Parliament. Or is this the beginning of a take-over of the federal Government by Pakatan Rakyat? If such thing happens Pakatan Rakyat would have captured two important BN allies to its side. How would BN, especially UMNO reacts. And yet analysts say UMNO leaders are still bickering among themselves and of course pursuing the same old habit of power...... When will UMNO ever learn??
Barisan Bertindak Gombak buat laporan polis terhadap Anwar
KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Bertindak Gombak yang diwakili beberapa pertubuhan kerajaan dan bukan kerajaan (NGO) daerah itu hari ini membuat laporan polis terhadap Penasihat Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yang didakwa mengganggu-gugat kestabilan negara.
Laporan dibuat Ketua Setiausahanya, Mohd Mustafa Latiff di Balai Polis Batu 6, Gombak, jam 10.35 pagi ini.
Mohd Mustafa yang ditemui pemberita selepas itu berkata, mereka membuat laporan polis untuk mendesak polis dan kerajaan agar menjalankan siasatan terhadap Anwar yang didakwa mereka telah mewujudkan pelbagai prasangka negatif rakyat terhadap kepimpinan kerajaan.
“Kami membuat laporan ini supaya polis dapat menjalankan siasatan yang sewajarnya ke atas beliau. Ini kerana kepemimpinan Anwar bukan sahaja menganggu-gugat kestabilan negara tetapi juga mengelirukan pemikiran rakyat dengan beberapa kenyataannya seperti isu Ahli Parlimen BN (Barisan Nasional) yang keluar parti... sedangkan perkara itu adalah tidak benar.
“Beliau (Anwar) seharusnya disiasat mengikut Akta Hasutan dan Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) kerana kenyataannya telah menimbulkan keresahan di kalangan rakyat terutamanya berhubung isu mengambil alih kerajaan,” katanya kepada pemberita di perkarangan balai polis itu di sini hari ini.
Terdahulu terdapat juga dakwaan mengenai pelabur asing yang menarik balik pelaburan di negara ini berikutan dakwaan Anwar, yang juga Ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh, kononnya akan mengambil alih kerajaan daripada BN.
Seramai 20 anggota Barisan Bertindak Gombak berkumpul di hadapan balai polis itu sejak jam 10 pagi ini bagi menunjukkan rasa tidak puas hati terhadap tindak-tanduk Anwar sebagai pemimpin.
Mereka turut membawa kain rentang yang tertulis “Anwar Ibrahim pengacau Negara, Rakyat dan Pembohong Besar” serta “Tangkap Anwar Ibrahim”.
Sementara itu, di SEREMBAN, Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan menyifatkan dakwaan Anwar yang mempunyai senarai nama Ahli Parlimen BN yang telah menyertai partinya sebagai muslihat semata-mata. - Bernama (Dipetik dari Berita Harian, 24 September 08)
Komen: Semakin bercelaru nampaknya. Tak tahu mana satu yang betul - BN atau Pakatan Rakyat. Hari ini laporan polis dibuat terhadap Anwar Ibrahim oleh NGO Gombak. Kita masih seperti dalam suasana pilianraya walaupun ia sudah lama berlalu. Sepatutnya jika Anwar telah mempunyai senarai nama anggota Parlimen yang mahu melompat, umumkan sahajalah dan berdasarkan pengumuman itu beliau bolehlah mendesak Kerajaan mengadakan sidang tergempar Parlimen dengan cukup notis.
Kalau asyik dok kata "kita sudah ada senarai" tapi tak didedahkan, ia tidak memberi apa-apa makna. Hanya cakap kosong. Main politik macam ini dok menyusahkan orang ramai sahaja. Jika kita berpegang kepada konsep demokrasi Kerajaan BN kini mewakili majoriti rakyat kerana jumlah anggota Parlimen membolehkannya membentuk kerajaan. Maka dalam hal ini Pakatan Rakyat perlu berpuas hati bahawa mereka adalah pembangkang. Dan sebagai pembangkang mereka perlu pula betanggung jawab menjadi pembangkang yang setia dan berfungsi mengikut lunas-lunas demokrasi. Tak perlulah war-warkan tentang mahu mengambil alih kuasa, kalau tak cukup syarat atau dengan menggunakan cara-cara yang tidak demokratik.
Sebaiknya kedua-dua kerajaan dan pembangkang bersatu dalam hal menstabilkan politik dan ekonomi negara. Kalau telah sesat atau terlanjur eloklah balik ke pangkal jalan. Berikanlah peluang kepada parti yang memerintah meneruskan agenda pembangunan rakyat dan pembangkang pula menjadi pihak yang bertanggungjaab sebagai kumpulan yang melaksanakan fungsi "check and balance". Jadilah golongan pembangkang seperti yang wujud di Barat seperti UK, Australia, Jepun dan mungkin juga Amerika Syarikat.
Tunjukkanlah kita juga mempunyai tahap kematangan berpolitik yang tinggi seperti di Barat. Dan akhirnya jika ada rezeki sesiapa sahaja pemimpin politik boleh menjadi Perdana Menteri jika sudah sampai masanya. Dalam kalangan pembangkang sesiapa sahaja pemimpinya boleh menjadi Perdana Menteri: Anwar Ibrahim, Abdul Hadi Awang. Dan dalam kalangan BN: Najib Tun Razak, Muhyiddin Yassin atau tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
Saturday September 20, 2008 Wait for next election, Anwar
SEPTEMBER 16 had come and gone. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim failed to unseat Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the Prime Minister.
As a Muslim, Anwar should accept that he can plan, but God decides.
From the very beginning what he did was morally wrong, although politics by a Machiavelian standard is apolitical.
It may be the accepted norms in other developing countries, but Malaysia has come of age and our politicians should show maturity and dignity when clamouring for political power.
Anwar should have the patience to wait for the next general election and let the people decide. He already has control over five states and should concentrate on them by showing to the people how the Opposition governs these states.
In a democracy it is the people who actually hold and wield power and not the politicians. For in the words of Abraham Lincon, “democracy is government by the people, of the people and for the people.”
On March 8, the people decided to cut Barisan Nasional’s two-third majority and yet BN accepted the defeat graciously and respected the will of the people.
When Anwar won in the Permatang Pauh by-election, it was again an indication of the people’s will and again BN accepted it in good faith.
Instead of being arrogant, Anwar should be humble with his victory in Permatang Pauh. Buying over BN representatives runs counter to his anti-corruption campaign.
A man of virtue will not resort to unethical means to meet his objectives and he has indeed lost the respect of certain quarters.
As a member of the public, I call on Anwar to close ranks and work together in the interest of the country.
As a former Deputy Prime Minister and Umno strongman, he has access to Pak Lah and can contribute in terms of ideas etc.
As the Opposition Leader, he can play a constructive role by bringing up pressing issues which affect the rakyat directly.
What the people need is less politicking as there are many urgent matters affecting them, such as illegal immigrants, spiralling food prices, wayward youths, the education system, etc.etc.
I was in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a short stint when Pak Lah was the Minister. I had the opportunity to study him at close range.
In all honesty, Pak Lah is a God-fearing man, hardworking, humble and well-liked by civil servants. I believe he never yearned to be the Prime Minister. Tun Dr Mahathir probably saw the good values in Pak Lah and passed the premiership to him to the surprise of some hopefuls.
Being the Prime Minister is not as easy as being a Deputy Prime Minister.
Indeed, heavy is the head that wears the crown,as Pak lah has probably found out.
But as he said at a press conference, ”... being Prime Minister is not main-main and olok-olok..it is serious business...”
I believe Pak Lah is a man of his word. When the time comes he will honour his words and pass the baton to his annointed successor Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Meanwhile, let Pak Lah do his job in peace.
HASSAN BIN TALIB, Gombak, Selangor. (The Star Online, 20 Sept. 2008)
Comment: politicians from whicHever camps they are should heed this advice from the man-in-the-street. Abraham Lincpln's definition of democracy is very much valid in Malaysia. The people's interest should be paramount and seek their approval during election time. It's the people not politicians who should dictate.
PM Pak Lah (left) with Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak: It's time to move on (pix:NST) . 2008/09/17
Majority tired of the mind games Anwar is playing By : Kalimullah Hassan
TWO weeks ago, at a dinner with an Asean ambassador, I was asked within minutes whether a change in government would take place on Sept 16.
"Would it?" I asked the ambassador. I was really tired of people everywhere only talking about "Sept 16" instead of moving on.
"Well, Western ambassadors seem convinced that it is going to happen," he replied.
That's when I laughed and told the ambassador that if that was his barometer of determining the truth, then he had better tell his colleagues that wiser folk had been fooled many times in the last three decades by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
But that's Anwar's magic and gift. He can tell different things to different people, contradict himself over and over again, and still have many who believe him.
Arsenic poisoning, escape to Turkish ambassador's house because of death threats, the list could go on...
Maybe even the DAP's wily old fox Lim Kit Siang fell for the Anwar magic, believing that he would be a senior member of an Anwar-led government and would be able to finally push through policies and ideals he had harboured for more than four decades in politics.
Maybe some of the Young Turks in Pas believed in Anwar's second coming and thought about the Islamic reforms they could implement and enforce in a government where they would have an important voice.
Never mind that the DAP and Pas, despite being partners in the opposition alliance, have until today disagreed vehemently on the latter's Islamic state aspirations.
So there we were... having nice Italian food in a great ambience with yet another person wondering what would happen in Malaysia if 916 took place.
Well, 916 did not happen. Now, Anwar says "another few days..." and there are a host of reasons why he cannot announce the names of -- Western diplomats convincingly say 31 Barisan Nasional members of parliament -- those who HAVE crossed over.
Come on now, Datuk Seri Anwar. Get on with it.
If you have the numbers, go and form the next government.
God knows that the majority of Malaysians are really tired of these mind games Anwar and his cohorts like Kit Siang are playing.
One foreigner, who lived here for many years and now works in Singapore, perhaps best described it when he told me recently that "this is the longest election any country must ever have had".
Since March 8, when the opposition took five states and denied the once-powerful BN a two-thirds majority, Anwar has been predicting he will form the next government and confidently describes himself as "the prime minister-in-waiting".
First it was June, then July and then, according to Anwar, no later than Sept 16.
Each time he failed to meet the deadline, he would come up with new dates and new reasons and, meanwhile, what happens?
Foreigners who want to invest are afraid to put in their money because investors never like uncertainties. They want to see, if a new government takes over, what the policies would be.
Would Pas push through Islamic laws which affect the investment climate?
Will the DAP and Anwar's Parti Keadilan Rakyat have greater investment-friendly policies and throw out the remnants of the New Economic Policy?
Will there be riots and mayhem? What is going to happen?
And slowly, but surely, foreigners have exited the Malaysian Stock Exchange as well -- because of the uncertainties.
Foreigners do not think that Bursa Malaysia, already troubled by the slowdown and failure of some of the world's largest banks in Europe and the United States, the credit crunch and rising commodity prices, is worth the political risk Malaysia poses.
Today, we have some of the best run Malaysian companies trading at unbelievably low valuations. Yet, there are no takers. Why?
Well, thank you Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and gang, I say.
Some people, in frustration, ask: "Why can't they just show what they can do with the five states they are governing?
"If they are good, we will vote them in the next elections."
The BN has been taught a very good lesson for its arrogance, for the abuses by some of its menteris besar and ministers, for not delivering many of the promises it made.
Yet, the voters decided that they are willing to give the BN another chance at the federal level.
If the BN does not change, if it cannot win over the hearts and minds of the people again through good governance and policies, then this is probably their last term in power.
So the question asked is why cannot Anwar and Kit Siang wait until the next general election?
They did lose the federal elections, didn't they? And wasn't it Kit Siang who attacked Anwar in 1994 when the then deputy prime minister led the "coercion and crossovers" of state assemblymen like Datuk Yong Teck Lee and Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan to cause the fall of the democratically-elected Parti Bersatu Sabah government led by Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan?
What has changed now that Kit Siang is no longer against defections through coercion?
Perhaps, like all other politicians, the sweet smell of power is too strong and has overpowered principles.
Anyway, both Anwar and Kit Siang are now in their 60s. Five years is too long time to wait, perhaps...
The best thing Anwar can do -- if he has the numbers -- is to end the uncertainty, announce the crossovers and seek to form the next government.
Maybe then, he can restore his credibility, and maybe then our country can better equip itself in fending off global economic challenges instead of having Anwar's politics further mess things up. (NST Online 17 Sept 08)
GAPENA discourse on the use of Bahasa Malaysia in Science and Mathematics in School, 14 September 08 at Rumah Gapena, Kuala Lumpur, with Prof. Datuk Latiff Bakar chairing.On his right is Prof. Datuk Dr. Zainal Kling.
Revert to Bahasa, urge writers By : Jennifer Gomez
KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry has erred in allowing the use of English in the teaching of Mathematics and Science because it goes against the spirit of the National Education Policy that acknowledges Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction in schools.
As such, the education minister should take responsibility if the government does not revert to teaching the subjects in Bahasa Malaysia.
Tan Sri Prof. Dr. Ismail Husein, "The Grand old Man" of Gapena is not amused.14 Sept. 08 pix.
This is the stand of the Federation of National Writers Association after a two-hour round-table dialogue yesterday, attended by 44 representatives from universities and 32 non-governmental organisations.
The association's central committee member Datuk Zainal Kling said it was agreed by all those present that Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein should step down if the policy was not reverted.
He stressed, however, that they were not against improving the standard of English among students.
"English should be encouraged as a second language and sufficient funds be channelled to ensure that proficiency is enhanced. But we must use the right pedagogy to teach English and not let it interfere with the teaching of other subjects, for instance Science and Mathematics," he said.
Some of the 44-strong participants in the two-hour round-table discourse at Rumah Gapena, 14 September 08.
Their call, he added, was supported by facts, surveys and examination results that proved the teaching of the subjects in English had not brought about the desired benefits.
Zainal said Bahasa Malaysia had proven to be a more effective medium of instruction over the last 30 years.
The current policy would sideline the national language and cause it to become a language for a limited group of people, mainly rural folk.
He said this would result in Bahasa Malaysia losing its significance as a national language that united Malaysians. (NST Online, 14 Sept. 08)
Comments: One partcipant bluntly whispered: Enough is enough of this unnecessary problem. Why don't we strictly follow the Constitution and the National Education Policy. And for God's sake, do not ignore the UPSR 2007 statistics.I've lost my voice arguing."
Wednesday September 10, 2008 MYT 7:31:16 PM Muhyiddin: PM should step down before 2010 (updated)
SINGAPORE: Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should rethink his transition plan to step down by 2010 as the timeframe was too long.
The transition plan revealed by Abdullah two months ago, he claimed, had “sunk away” and people were not thinking about it any more.
“The year 2010 is too (far away),” he told a news conference on the sidelines of the Forbes Global CEO Conference here on Wednesday.
Under the plan for the transition of power, Abdullah is to hand over the post of prime minister, chairmanship of Barisan Nasional and presidency of Umno to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in June 2010.
Muhyiddin said he had even asked Najib whether he wanted to wait that long as he (Najib) would have little time to manage and bring the confidence of the people back to Umno and Barisan.
Saying that he had always been critical of the matter as it was of interest to all Malaysians, he asked Abdullah to think about it again.
Abdullah had said that the transition plan was to strengthen Umno solidarity and put party members at ease following too much politicking after the last general election which Barisan scraped through with a simple majority in Parliament.
Asked on speculation that he would team up with Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to mount a challenge for the Umno deputy presidency and presidency respectively, Muhyiddin replied, “Like you said, it is just speculation.”
The speculation arose from a meeting between Muhyiddin and former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the latter’s house in Cyberjaya last Saturday, where Tengku Razaleigh was also present.
At the meeting, Mahathir voiced his intention to rejoin Umno which he left in May.
Muhyiddin said that though Mahathir had left Umno, he was still talking a lot about the party, particularly on ways to strengthen it, and bringing back the people’s confidence.
He said it was a good move by Dr Mahathir and believed that it would be welcomed by Umno members as it would put the party back in high spirits.
“We have to be very open about it and Dr Mahathir’s views are still well sought after, and he could contribute by strengthening the party,” Muhyiddin said. -- Bernama (NST Online)
Comment Mahyuddin has been vocal all along to see Abdullah relinquishing the UMNO Preident' post a.s.a.p. He too has proposed that the quota system in UMNO election be scrapped. And now he wants Tun Mahathir to rejoin UMNO. A political analyst in UKM only suggests one thing, i.e. Abdullah no longer is "Muhyiddin's cup of tea". The analyst said "You know-lah these two Abdullah and Muhyiddin. They have never been been even especially when Abdullah announced his Deputy in UMNO. It has been for some times now. I dare say The writing is on the wall for either of them has to leave the scene for the sake of UMNO unity. Muhyiddin is courting Mahathir for reasons known by everybody, especislly at the UMNO grassroot level.
In politics, especially UMNO politics, every one is ambitious. No doubt about it, especially if you are already almost at the pinnacle of power. This analyst also hinted that Muhyddin could probably name Mahathir as the candidate for UMNO presidential candidate with Muhyiddin himself as No. 2 man. So the scenario is set: Mahathir and Muhyiddin on one side and Abdullah and Najib on the other. Remember what Mahathir once said about Najib!